In a report possibly falling under the category “What the Font?” or simply “Sans Clue,” PoliceSpecials.com carried this story from the BBC today:
“Thousands of motorway speeding convictions could be overturned because the font used to display the numbers on some variable speed limit signs may not have complied with traffic regulations. The Crown Prosecution Service said the signs showed mph numbers taller and narrower than they should have been.”
The typefaces mandated by the Department of Transport for traffic speed limit signs are Transport Medium, Transport Heavy and Motorway Permanent. The designers were Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert. Simon Garfield provides an amusing chapter in Just My Type on how their design came to be adopted. But the typeface in question on which the BBC has belatedly reported (see the Daily Mail for the original scoop last December) is this:
According to roadsuk.com (well, that is the URL, although a bit of blue in the letters “u” and “k” help to disambiguate the message), the font seems to be named (imaginative this) “Variable Message Sign.” But in the Daily Mail article, neither the “wrong” nor “right” signs illustrated seems to be in the Variable Message Sign typeface. So, what the font?