Have you ever seen one of those bizarre fake "stop" signs
they have in parking lots that doesn't quite look right?
Real US road signs are remarkably consistent--every
stop sign is the same size (30 inches across),
uses the same font, and is the same officially mandated color.
This consistency is one of the things that make road signs
part of our shared visual unconscious, and what makes minor
deviations, like an undersized parking lot stop sign, stand out.
Because they're so iconic and instantly recognizable,
I feel it's important to have a truly free (even for commercial
use) copy of these signs available to anybody. Hence this project.
Other road sign resources on the web:
- Richard C. Moeur's excellent
of Traffic Signs. This is the page if you want readable,
well-linked information on signs from an actual traffic engineer.
He has a better organized and more complete set of sign images
than this site, but they're GIF's, so they're a bit smaller
- US Department of Transportation's MUTCD,
the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, is the legal standard all
traffic signs have to follow. It's from this document these files have
The processing history of these images was:
- Converted MUTCD PDF to PS file using Ghostscript.
- Extracted 362 separate EPS files from MUTCD PS using my own
homebrew PS parser and about an hour of manual labor.
- Converted EPS files to PNG files using my
homebrew EPS parser, homebrew antialiased renderer, and libpng.
The PNG's are alpha-channel'd, and their largest side is 512 pixels,
so they should be easy to use with texture mapping hardware.
- Downsized PNG files to JPG thumbnails using (you guessed it)
homebrew minification tool and jpeglib.
- Built index page and web pages using Bourne shell script.
Because I'm a UNIX user, and UNIX is made for scripting,
the only repetitive manual labor involved was drawing rectangles
and entering names for each sign in the MUTCD. Everything else
was fully scripted; so I'm quite happy to just give these signs away.
Orion Sky Lawlor, January 2003
Back to Orion's US Road Signs.
Back to Orion's Home Page.