Don Meeker, James Montalbano
Terminal Design
Release Year
Country of Origin
United States
Sans Serif, Humanist Sans
Original Format


Clearview is the name of a humanist sans-serif typeface family for guide signs on roads in the United States. It was developed by independent researchers with the help of the Texas Transportation Institute and the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, under the supervision of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The standard FHWA typefaces, developed in the 1940s, were designed to work with a system of highway signs in which almost all words are capitalized. The designers of Clearview sought to create a typeface adapted for mixed-case signage, initially expecting it would be based on an existing European sans serif typeface. Instead, using a similar weight to the FHWA fonts, a new font was created from scratch. Two key differences are much larger counter spaces, the enclosed spaces in letters like the lower case “e” or “a,” and a higher x-height, the relative height of the lower case “x” to the upper case “X.” Smaller counter spaces in the FHWA fonts reduced legibility, particularly when the letters glowed from headlight illumination at night.

Clearview was granted interim approval for use on American road signs on 2 September 2004 and is expected to gradually replace the FHWA typefaces over the next few decades in many applications.

In addition to its appearance on road signage, a customized version of the ClearviewText typeface was adopted by AT&T for corporate use, including advertising, beginning in 2006. ClearviewText and ClearviewADA are versions of the typeface intended for use in general graphic design and ADA-compliant signage.

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Last edited by James Random on October 10, 2009, 10:43am EST

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