I came across this article in the New York Times Magazine on-line today. It’s a pretty fascinating look at the development of the typeface that will be replacing Highway Gothic on highway signs in the United States, Clearview. The work done by Meeker and Montalbano is awesome. They cared enough that they kept tweaking the design until it was great. Even looking at the Wikipedia pages linked above shows that Clearview is more readable than Highway Gothic, but we can’t forget the contribution Highway Gothic has had on our culture via the Interstate system. Long live Highway Gothic but bring on the Clearview. There are some parallels with my work in software tool design. We’re always trying to improve on what exists and make our products much better. I just hope that one day I can author software that become useful and ubiquitous at my work (I’d like to say I did it once at Blue Sky, but I’ve been gone from there for a while and the memory fades).