Iconic New York signs
How signs have changed
A sign is born
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The New York look
Make Your Own NYC Street Sign

Make Your Own NYC Street Sign

New York City Street Sign New York City isn't above the occasional decorative element, usually to one side of the text on a street sign.

New York hosts around 47 million tourists per year, 39 million of whom come from elsewhere within the United States. If you're reading this sentence, there's a good chance you've been to the Big Apple. Whether you're waxing nostalgic over memories of Times Square, or have visions of your upcoming trip to Broadway dancing in your head, you can grab a piece of the City by custom-designing your own street sign.

Some online sign retailers offer both traffic signs from the NYC and/or street sign templates that imitate what you might see lining 42nd Street or Broadway.

The characteristics of a New York street sign:

  • Silver lines above and below the street name – normally, these slightly extruded lines give the sign a capital I shape and help the bracket keep a firm grip on the sign.

  • The abbreviation for "street" or "avenue" is superscripted to the right of the street's name or number. It does not have a period after it.

  • If the street is a number, there will not be an ordinal designator after the number. So, for example, a New York City street sign would never read "5TH AV" – instead, it reads "5 AV".

  • Many famous New York street signs have a white logo to one side. If you're good with design, you could use Photoshop or GIMP to create a Statue of Liberty logo – or find a company that offers preset logos.

  • Older signs use ALL CAPS and FHWA font D, but as these signs are being gradually cycled out, you'll see Clearview font and a mixed caps look (so the sign for "TIMES SQUARE" will now read "Times Square"). Retailers often offer both signs. If your memories of New York were made sometime before the two thousand teens, we recommend all caps and Series D.

  • Signs that look exactly like one from the NYC DOT are hard to find, if not impossible, and one reason is the system that holds them in place. New York City signs are usually fastened by brackets – it's far more common for them to share a pole with a traffic light than for them to sit atop posts.
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