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I've seen projects to which I gave my entire being go south after many years, so I can relate, James. But those projects/businesses are dead and buried and Clearview is still alive. And things change over time.
The Social Security agency recently sent me a bulletin telling me that I can expect to live to the age of 83. I hadn't thought about it, really but I probably have time to get a few more long term projects done until the reaper arrives.
As to the buried lead of licensing fees, yes, considering today's political climate, it would not surprise me if any licensing fee at all - especially to local governments - triggered a re-evaluation of Clearview - aesthetic and legibility improvements be damned.
A fight for another day.
James Montalbano said:
@Stephen Coles The Clearview project was totally self-initiated and never received a dime from the Feds.
The Clearview letters are superior—no doubt about it—but I find that an equal consideration is the spacing, a factor that wasn't mentioned by anyone. If you look at the Hellertown/Bethlehem signs in the link posted by Mark Simonson, you can see what I mean. The Clearview version shows "proper" typesetter's spacing, whereas the Highway Gothic version is very loose, as if laid out with some sort of uniform spacer. In my view, the Highway Gothic spacing is better for its purpose; the Clearview is too close and runs the risk of "blobbing," just as the poor Highway Gothic letterforms do. If the spacing of the Clearview sign were more wider, I have a feeling that it would be demonstrably superior to the Highway Gothic.
I have no idea how the letters are laid out on the signs, or whether the method is the same from one locale to another, but I have no doubt that spacing is an equal consideration to the letterforms themselves. The problem with testing of this kind is that it is done in simulation, never tested as real signage on the road, and the methods of "typesetting" might be quite different from the way the signs are made.
Chris, I'm afraid we're each aging in our own way. My problem is that my eyes adjust ever more slowly to changing distances, so the older I get, the more I rely on every piece of information I can while driving. I find myself estimating the number of letters as a clue before I can actually read the sign. Looser spacing makes this easier, though better letterforms help, too. Sad to say, I'm willing to give up my typographer's sensibility each time I get into a car. I'm glad that you're still able to maintain higher standards.
James Montalbano said: @Dave Crossland it means that Meeker protects and enforces the trademarks on ClearviewHwy, ClearviewText and ClearviewADA, but not Clearview, which was a requirement imposed by FHWA. The NPS Rawlinson fonts I designed for the National Par Service contained a NPS Rawlinson Roadway design that was approved by FHWA but they insisted I abandon the Rawlinson trademark. I refused and renamed the approved roadway font NPS Roadway.
Kent Lew said: Didn’t the bureaucrats in Flint resist switching back to Detroit water because of the cost?
James Montalbano said:
The problem isn't the licensing model, the problem is the new administrators of the FHWA value uniformity over innovation.