Fonts for signage

For using in signs or indications, the character of the font remains a key issue.

Railroad Roman One of the best display fonts for numerals is the type which was traditionally used by the railway companies. Here an example of Railroad Roman: a font with a distinctive character and very well suited for its purpose.
Unfortunately many companies have now abandoned these fonts in favour of sans-serifs. If you're lucky, you'll find a nice sans-serif such as GillSans or LondonUnderground, if you're not lucky, you'll have to swallow Helvetica!
London Underground Sans serif fonts offer excellent legibility.
A famous signage font is the one designed by Johnston for the London Underground. This font has been in continuous use since 1916 (how lucky we are it has not been displaced with Helvetica!), and had considerable influence on the design of typefaces like Gill Sans.


The Tannenberg is a brokenscript suitable for signage, offering easy readability while keeping its distinctive character. Some examples of this style of fonts still exist in Berlin, not yet displaced by the ubiquitous Helvetica.


Fonts for text

Fonts I don't like

Railroad Roman is available from RailFonts, who also supply other rail-related font sets.
London Underground is available from P22 type foundry.
DS-Tannenberg is available from Delbanco, who have a large collection of Fraktur fonts on offer.
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Go to home page

© 2002 LHOON
Last update: 2002-07-23
No one but the author of this pages (Van den Bossche Peter) accounts for the contents of this pages.