I was shitting bricks yesterday setting up for Seven Days of Signage, with the full range of posts that would imply, all in anticipation of next week’s unveiling of new Toronto streetsign designs. (Don’t we have those already?) I even made another peace overture to the Spacers.

In some respects, they responded in kind by providing me with mockup illustrations. They’ve seen the new signs already. While this surely indicates the city’s willingness to give “key stakeholders” a scoop, it also incompletely confirms my apprehension that the Spacers want to own the issue of Toronto streetsignage.

Blue sign blade with Bathurst St in white, with curved white top border showing Toronto logotype and straight-bottomed white bottom border showing 1070
Blue sign blade with Bedford Rd in white, backed by stainless-steel border with The Annex logotype in script

I suppose it makes sense that the only examples provided would come from the west end. Note how tidily the signs work with short street names (“Bathurst St” is a mere 11 characters). Wait till they get to Sarah Ashbridge Ave. (18 or 19), Northern Dancer Blvd. (20), and Joseph Duggan Rd. (16). Perhaps coincidentally, those streets are brand-new and situated in Pleasantville at the periphery of the Beach.

The design is by Kramer Design Associates, the “brainiacs” who gave us the CBC “wayfinding system” and the curiously-named Info-to-Go pillars.

I asked Stewf WTF the font was, since sansserifs are hard to look up. He pegs it as Akzidenz-Grotesk, but the 7 has been modified. (My Berthold Fototypes E2 shows a bold-condensed version with that 7.) In what universe is any grotesk typeface (even Univers) suitable for road signage? Wherever did Clearview go?

I trust the city is not under the misapprehension that these are the final forms. Among other things, I shall be waiting for the publication of test data proving these signs work better than existing ones for many user groups, including people with certain disabilities.

While we’re waiting, you may wish to look at my higher– and lower-interest galleries of Toronto streetsigns.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2006.09.20 07:32. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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