The Rollsign/Destination Sign Thread

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The Rollsign/Destination Sign Thread

Postby jr145 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:58 pm

Anyone know what fonts are used for the different rollsigns throughout the system? I know helvetica is used for the station signs, but I'm not sure if its the same for the rollsigns or not.
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Re: Rollsign question

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:25 am

Helvetica. Potentially with some variants (condensed, rounded) if you look at, say, a Boeing rollsign vs. a Type 7. Previous-generation PCC rollsigns appeared to be slightly different. Can't identify what this is, but the Q's and extra blockiness of the O's are dead giveaway that it's not Helv:

Image

Helvetica:
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Re: Rollsign question

Postby jr145 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:46 am

That's what I figured, now to find out where to get Helvetica. For reference I'm going to put up a photo of each sign just to compare.

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Re: The rollsign thread

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:13 am

That is likely Helvetica Condensed on a lot of them. Notice the O's on the Type 7 sign are rounder than Blue and Orange...difference between regular and condensed. Boeing and Red signs look like they're much the same by comparing D's. Still all in the official Helvetica family, though.

I think the Type 7 signs are a lot more readable than all others even at small type size. As those are the last rollsign car purchases the T made it might have been a deliberate decision for improving readability.
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Re: The rollsign thread

Postby jr145 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:39 pm

Now I just need to find out how to get a hold of helvetica without paying out the you know what for it. I'll probably have to use my fiance's Mac.
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Re: The rollsign thread

Postby The EGE » Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:29 pm

Arial is nearly identical to Helvetica. There are a few differences, but not many.
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Re: The rollsign thread

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:30 pm

This should get a laugh,
There is a place I once found that give out knock offs.
http://www.qwizx.com/tpirfonts/no-b.html

The one you should be looking for is "Swiss"
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Re: The rollsign thread

Postby blackcap » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:14 pm

The GNU Project has available for download high-quality TrueType versions of FreeMono, FreeSerif and FreeSans, which are practically identical to Courier, Times New Roman, and Helvetica, respectively:

http://savannah.gnu.org/projects/freefont/

An example of the the Freefonts:

Image
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Re: The rollsign thread

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:47 pm

Yeah, use the open source fonts as they're much more accurate approximations. Arial is a poor, poor knockoff that's spread like a disease thanks to Microsoft opting not to pay the Helvetica royalty for Windows. The downgrade in quality with Arial is too noticeable vs. the real thing.
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Different rollsign designs per one destination for an LRV?

Postby djimpact1 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:18 pm

I would like to know why one type of vehicle would have two different designs for the same destination...are they different generation rollsigns (i.e. original vs. rehabbed), or were the rollsigns produced at different locations upon their creation?

For example, look at the two Boeing LRV pictures. Both have "Government Center" displayed on their respective rollsigns. One has a single-lined destination, using a Helvetica-looking font (# 3423). The second picture shows a double-lined destination, using a Cafeta-looking font (# 3462).

Same terminus/destination displayed, same type of vehicle (Boeing LRV)...two very different appearances. Why would this occur?

Also, could anyone else provide any further examples of the same exact destination/route displayed on a rollsign with 2 alternate versions?
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MBTA - Green Line at Brookline Village2.jpg
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Re: The rollsign thread

Postby jr145 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:55 pm

The boeings and type 7s used the exact same type of rollsign, just with different rolls so to speak. From what i was told if they had to replace the mylar in a boeing theyd use one for a type 7.
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Re: The rollsign thread

Postby djimpact1 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:42 pm

jr145 wrote:The boeings and type 7s used the exact same type of rollsign, just with different rolls so to speak. From what i was told if they had to replace the mylar in a boeing theyd use one for a type 7.


Tell me if I understand this correctly...the Boeing & Type 7s used the same sized rollsign, but each model's (LRV v. Type 7) original rollsign had different characteristics (font, word placement). If one model's rollsign needing replacing, the T could either utilize another rollsign from that same model or use a rollsign from the other model?
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Re: The rollsign thread

Postby jr145 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:26 pm

Yeah from what I understand its the exact same case, just different printed mylar. Although the Gov. Center on the type 7s said GOVERMENT CTR. so I'm not sure whats up with the Boeing in the first picture. Perhaps there were different runs of the Boeing rollsigns.

But the type 7s/Boeings were interchangeable. For example thats why you will see photos of Boeings with a rollsign that says D RIVERSIDE, as opposed to D RIVERSIDE VIA HIGHLAND BRANCH.
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Re: The rollsign thread

Postby djimpact1 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:27 pm

jr145 wrote:Yeah from what I understand its the exact same case, just different printed mylar. Although the Gov. Center on the type 7s said GOVERMENT CTR. so I'm not sure whats up with the Boeing in the first picture. Perhaps there were different runs of the Boeing rollsigns.


I found your example in picture form...

Now for this overall "Government Center" example, the pictures show
1. Boeing LRV with a single-lined destination displaying "GOVERNMENT CENTER", using a Helvetica-looking font (#3423) - looks like possibly a rollsign from a Type 7?
2. Boeing LRV with a double-lined destination displaying "GOVERNMENT CENTER", using a Cafeta-looking font (#3462).
3. Type 7 Kinki with a single-lined destination displaying "GOVERNMENT CTR", using a semi-elongated Helectiva-looking font (#3665)

This makes 3 very different rollsigns for only 2 vehicles! Another example coming up...
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MBTA Green Line - 3665 at Hynes ICA (8-24-2004).jpg
MBTA Green Line - 3665 at Hynes ICA (8-24-2004).jpg (77.06 KiB) Viewed 4687 times
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Re: The rollsign thread

Postby djimpact1 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:48 pm

I found the same scenario for another example of possible multi-generational/differing production location signage (2 vehicle types, with 3 different versions of the same destination on a rollsign). Note the following (with corresponding pictures):

1. Boeing LRV with a single-lined destination displaying "LECHMERE", using a stretched Impact-looking font (#3448) - takes up most of the width of the rollsign
2. Boeing LRV with a single-lined destination displaying "LECHMERE", using a Cafeta-looking font (#3462) - takes up much less room than 3448's rollsign
3. Type 7 Kinki with a single-lined destination displaying "LECHMERE", using a Helvetica-looking font (#3670).

How common was it to have multiple versions of one destination? Were there ever any more than 3 alternate versions of the same one destination displayed? Were some rollsigns Boeing/Kinki-produced and others MBTA-produced?
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img_31436.jpg
img_31436.jpg (182.34 KiB) Viewed 4685 times
MBTA Green Line - 3462 at Commonwealth and Blandford (7-28-1979).jpg
MBTA Green Line - 3462 at Commonwealth and Blandford (7-28-1979).jpg (276.53 KiB) Viewed 4685 times
MBTA Green Line - 3670 at Haymarket (6-7-2004).jpg
MBTA Green Line - 3670 at Haymarket (6-7-2004).jpg (179.33 KiB) Viewed 4685 times
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