While double-sided street name signs must adhere to a certain set of standards put forth by the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices), that doesn’t mean customization is a non-starter. Personalization of typography, color, borders, and icons is possible for any community with certain caveats. And with a trusted advisor from Image360 Baltimore-White Marsh at your fingertips, you can be sure you’ll never step out of the MUTCD guidelines.
If you represent a municipal government, or are a manager of a private community, park, or campus, we understand the need to express your location’s unique identity. Keep reading to discover the ins-and-outs of what is possible with custom street name signs.
What standards must street name signs adhere to?
According to the MUTCD, street name signs on a local road, in which the speed limit is 25mph or less, must have upper-case letters at least four inches tall and lower-case letters at least three inches tall.
Should your roads have faster traffic, you can expect text sizes for capital letters to be at least six inches, and 4.5 inches for lowercase letters.
Outside of font size, there are a few choices for the size of the actual signage. The two most common sizes for local roads are 6-inch and 9-inch. But street name signs can vary wildly in size, spanning up to forty-eight inches in width for heavily frequented avenues and boulevards.
MUTCD has only approved four color schemes: green, blue, or brown background with white text, and a white background with black text. White can also be used as a border unless it is used as a background color. Image360 Baltimore-White Marsh offers these color schemes, as well as other colors for personal or commercial use.
It’s worth mentioning that some local governments and cities ignore these restrictions, and maintain their neighborhood signs with a non-compliant color scheme. For instance, the city of Mesa, Arizona uses ruby red signs for their Fiesta District without repercussions.
Upper and lowercase should be used together – gone are the old days when villagers would place roadside signs in all capital letters. And, contrary to what you may believe, using both improves visibility for oncoming vehicles.
Punctuation should be avoided at all costs to prevent confusion among drivers.
Communities can place just about any image they want on their street name signs, so long as they’re the same color as the text or border. The resulting pictograph will resemble a logo or cutout rather than an actual photo.
The size of the icon cannot exceed that of the uppercase letter on the primary sign legend. So, the less intricate your design, the better (unless your pictograph is iconic – take New York City’s Statue of Liberty icons, for example).
You’ll want what the industry calls retroreflective sheeting. This ensures motorists can spot your signs from a distance at night, even during inclement weather.
Several types of reflective aluminum exist, spanning from engineering grade to diamond grade. Selecting which type of retroreflective sheeting will depend on how frequently the roads of your community are traversed. Since residential areas, parking lots, and private drives are low-traffic areas, you’ll likely offer plenty of visibility using engineering grade street name signs, which still meet MUTCD requirements for illumination.
Acronyms are used more often in traffic and road signs that are cautionary or restrictive. However, street name signs will commonly require abbreviations for suffixes, such as street, road, or boulevard.
MUTCD stipulates that each suffix have a mixture of both lowercase and uppercase letters – a key difference from the way that we typically type abbreviations and acronyms. They must also have smaller lettering than the name of the street.
Now that you have an excellent understanding of the many ways street names signs can address your business’s unique challenges, here are a few tips from the pros at Image360 Baltimore-White Marsh.
How to Choose Street Name Signs that Work for Your Business, Community, or Municipality
Ready to take the next step with street name signs?
Contact us today and set up a consultation. We’ll discuss your needs and find the solution best-suited to your business. You can count on Image360 Baltimore-White Marsh for measurement, design concepts and permitting (when required) as well as mounting or installation. Every location is a local source for custom graphics, signage and displays. Second-to-none in delivery time and quality signs, at Image360 Baltimore-White Marsh, we take street name signage seriously.