NEW YORK CITY’S STREET NAME SIGNS:
HOW AND WHY THEY VARY IN COLOR, SHAPE, SIZE AND CONTENT
Currently in New York City, there are approximately 250,000 street name signs. Most have white text on green backgrounds and are otherwise uniformly designed (see Photograph A). But, have you noticed that there are numerous variations in NYC’s street name signs? Some signs, for example, have brown backgrounds; others blue; and yet others black. Some signs are illuminated and some contain images. Other variations in signage concern capitalization and font style. If you have noticed these variations, have you also wondered about the meaning behind them?
This piece discusses the regulations behind the design of NYC’s street name signs, and among other things, why many of the street name signs in use today will be replaced over the next several years.