Motorway (typeface)

Motorway (typeface)
Category Sans-serif
Designer(s) Jock Kinneir
Margaret Calvert

Motorway is a typeface designed by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert for use on the motorway network of the United Kingdom. It was first used on the M6 Preston bypass in 1958 and has been in use on the UK's motorways since. It is also used in some other countries, most notably the Republic of Ireland and Portugal.

Use in the UK

The Motorway alphabet appears on road signs on motorways in the United Kingdom, and is used for route numbers. It is available in two weights: Motorway Permanent is the standard weight, and is used for pale text on a dark background (i.e. white-on-blue permanent motorway signs) while Motorway Temporary is heavier, and is used for dark text on a pale background (i.e. black-on-yellow temporary motorway signs).[1]

Motorway features a limited character set - only the numbers "0" to "9", the letters "M", "A", "B", "N","E" "S", "W", the symbols "(", ")" and "&", and the word "Toll" (treated as a single character).

All other text on UK road signs appears in Transport.

Republic of Ireland

Motorway font in use on a directional sign on an Irish motorway. Note the "R" in Transport font.

The Motorway font is also used in the Republic of Ireland. Its use is slightly different to that in the UK - in the Republic, motorway route numbers are always in Motorway font, whether the sign is on a motorway or not. In addition, on signs erected before 2009, route numbers for all-purpose roads on motorway signs were in Transport font. On signs erected since 2009, all route numbers on motorways are now in motorway font, bringing Ireland closer in line with the UK practice (however, as Motorway font does not feature the letter "R", this letter alone still appears in Transport). As in the UK, all other text on road signs appears in Transport font.

  1. ^ Chris's British Road Directory, URL accessed 29 June 2009

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