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mobilene

Cutout-style Shields

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On my way home from the US 31 trip I did a little exploring through corn country. I was on US 6 in LaPorte County when I came upon these directional signs at the intersection with US 35. I have never seen cutout shields in Indiana! What's especially interesting is that the directional signs (North, South, etc.) use the modern big-cap, small-cap style. I wonder how old these shields are.

 

Westbound on 6:

1402877052_e5b53bc74f.jpg

 

Eastbound on 6:

1402875102_7cbd1ddf38.jpg

 

I headed south on 35 from here, and then followed a bunch of state highways until I joined the Dixie Highway in Logansport. I followed that the rest of the way home.

 

jim

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Just a guess, but they look pretty new to me. Looks like it may be a new trend, at least in that area.

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On my way home from the US 31 trip I did a little exploring through corn country. I was on US 6 in LaPorte County when I came upon these directional signs at the intersection with US 35. I have never seen cutout shields in Indiana! What's especially interesting is that the directional signs (North, South, etc.) use the modern big-cap, small-cap style. I wonder how old these shields are.

 

Westbound on 6:

1402877052_e5b53bc74f.jpg

 

Eastbound on 6:

1402875102_7cbd1ddf38.jpg

 

I headed south on 35 from here, and then followed a bunch of state highways until I joined the Dixie Highway in Logansport. I followed that the rest of the way home.

 

jim

Mobilene,

 

It looks like someone decided that vintage is better. I appreciate seeing the cut out style. I ask, “If you make a shield, why then put it on a rectangle anyway?”

 

You are a keen observer! Now tell me why we use white on green. Compare the readability of the signs in your photos as they are displayed against the sky. The black on white is twice as visible.

 

I am not a sign guy, but your photos raise the question.

 

Keep the Show on the Road

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Those cutouts sure look shiny and new. One way to tell is to drive through there at night -- if they reflect like a beacon in the night, they're pretty new. But it's not Indiana's style to go against standards.

 

I think the cutout shields look great. Only thing that might enhance them is to add the thin borderline near the edges. The borderline-less style is usually affixed to Big Green Signs on the Interstate.

 

Speaking of green signs, sign colors have meaning, and green means "guide," just as yellow means "warning" and orange means "work zone." Whether you know it or not, your subconscious knows what kind of info is on a sign just because of its color before your conscious can even read the thing. I agree that these white on green signs are not the most legible, but they could have done things to help that, notably increasing the font size and switching to mixed case.

 

jim

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Those cutouts sure look shiny and new. One way to tell is to drive through there at night -- if they reflect like a beacon in the night, they're pretty new. But it's not Indiana's style to go against standards.

 

I think the cutout shields look great. Only thing that might enhance them is to add the thin borderline near the edges. The borderline-less style is usually affixed to Big Green Signs on the Interstate.

 

Speaking of green signs, sign colors have meaning, and green means "guide," just as yellow means "warning" and orange means "work zone." Whether you know it or not, your subconscious knows what kind of info is on a sign just because of its color before your conscious can even read the thing. I agree that these white on green signs are not the most legible, but they could have done things to help that, notably increasing the font size and switching to mixed case.

 

jim

 

Mobilene,

 

Ah...your road knowledge knows no bounds!

 

You may subconsciously recognize green signs as “guide,” but I think “squint”...or I’ll miss the off ramp! Must be a generational thing!

 

Somewhere around here I think I have an article describing and showing the “new” standard signage, perhaps for the US or a state, from probably the 1920’s. Do you have an interest in seeing it? If so I will begin a dig...although it is conceivable I saw it on the web somewhere......

 

In any event, I need an excuse to look through my magazine collection. Who know what I will discover

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Without wandering too far off topic (or US 6!), I've noticed cut shields elsewhere as well. Along Route 66 south of Picher, Oklahoma, I first saw some cutouts for Alternate US 69 back in the early 00's. And they're still there as of two weeks ago. I had a picture of it "somewhere", but you know how that story ends! I found one on an Oklahoma Ends site: Alt. US 69 When I first saw these, I was quite surprised. I thought perhaps they were just some "leftovers" they had and put a new reflective shield "decal" over them. Afterall, one would think it would be more expensive to cut these, as opposed to just cutting a square. And we all know how the govt is when "cutting corners". :lol: I'm a big fan of this design, as I'm sure a lot of us are. Let's hope this is a trend. Hopefully we'll get other reports in the future of these popping up.

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Hi,

 

I think the newer cutouts were meant for overhead guide signage on interstates/freeways. There are a few more around the country (I know there are a couple on U.S. 33 in Columbus, Ohio). Nevertheless, great find!

 

I'm also of the mindset that thinks the cutouts look better. All needed is a glance at my picture to tell that!

 

This link leads to a nice page of the highway signs through the years, broken down by state. Having grown up in a world where all the U.S. Highway signs are black and white, it's hard to imagine a time when you could tell which state you were in just by looking at the highway shield.

 

Tracy

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Thanks for the link, Pat. I'd never seen the Oklahoma site before. That Alt. 69 shield looks cut from the same cloth as the 6/35 shields I saw.

 

Tracy, I looked at the Indiana page on the link you shared. Does it say something about me that I can tell you exactly where three or four of those photos were taken?

 

jim

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