's Blog

$27 Million To Change NYC Signs from All-Caps

Posted by on 10/04/2010 at 11:48 AM

Professor Wayne Schiess at the University of Texas School of Law emailed this bit of trivia to the Legal Writing Institute list serve for the "typography nerds out there."   :-)   Evidently, research shows that lower case letters are easier to read than all caps.  This research has caused NYC officials to begin changing all street signs to lower case.  Huge ticket price for this change! 

"Federal copy editors are demanding the city change its 250,900 street signs from the all-caps style used for more than a century to ones that capitalize only the first letters.

Changing BROADWAY to Broadway will save lives, the Federal Highway Administration contends in its updated Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, citing improved readability."

Thought I would pass the article on to you as an example of how what we write, including how we present it visually in font and typeset, makes a difference to the reader.  The reader.  Besides what we write, the most important consideration in all writing.  Enjoy!

Here is a link to the New York Post article:

 http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/bronx/million_kuj8X4Z2VolVhXnCymfkvM#ixzz114b2NpHk