Alpha-Numeric or Classic old shields?

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Adrian Biankin

Jul 19, 2021, 7:45:38 PMJul 19
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What do you guys prefer, the old Classic National Route, National Highway, State Route, Metroad, (Even F shields), or the new Alpha-Numeric route markers?

I'd prefer the old shields because they would stand out on a sign and make it easier to see (and of course I don't really remember them).
I also like the National Highway Alpha-numeric designs. They should've done something like that.Untitled (10).png


Jul 20, 2021, 1:36:56 AMJul 20
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I definitely prefer the classic shields, as its what I've grown up with and am still accustomed to (and I don't think they'll be going anywhere in Queensland anytime soon). But at the same time I also have a soft spot for the bordered alphas, and it'll be a shame to see them go eventually. Can't stand the non-bordered type. 

I actually quite like those National Highway alphas as well. The only ones I've seen for myself are at the three Bruce Highway interchanges in the Narangba and Burpengary area, and they seemed to fade and peel rather quickly after their installation. They seem to have been a one-off experiment when M1 was extended north along the Bruce Highway in 2005 (I believe some may have also been installed north of the M1 for the A1 leg but I don't know if they still exist). Sadly the Boundary Road ones are gone now, the Deception Bay Road ones have their days numbered, and I believe Uhlmann Road is due for an upgrade in the near future so that may well spell the end of them up here, or at least in South-East Queensland.


Jul 20, 2021, 2:30:22 AMJul 20
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In my opinion, I prefer a nation wide alphanumeric system excluding Tassie here. I'm not a huge fan of shields, except when it comes to tourist drives and state routes. But when I mean "Nationwide", it needs to be something like 1 and 2 digit routes are M/A routes, 3 digit routes are B routes, and 4 digit routes end up being C routes with a simple solution to just add a 1 to all of Vic's 2 digit B routes, and a 1 in front of all three digit C routes. I'm excluding Tassie here though since it's an island.

But in conclusion, I only like TD and SR shields, and not NR's or Metroads. But alphanumerics is also more easier when it comes to maps and foreigners who'd find a letter and a number easier to recognize rather than different shields.

Oh, and I also don't like bordered alphas anymore


Jul 20, 2021, 10:25:07 AMJul 20
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I like how the State and National shields reflect the shield shapes shown in the various Australian Coats of Arms; I think that's a really nice touch that gives them character and meaning. The alphas are just bland and forgettable.

I hope we in WA hold out on the shields as long as possible, I consider them a part of heritage. Although, if an alphanumeric conversion is what it takes for MRWA to actually re-do the route numbers properly, then so be it...

Musa Hodzic

Jul 20, 2021, 11:51:08 PMJul 20
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For me, definitely the shields. Hate the alphas. If I was to number them in the order of preference it'd be:
1) F shields
2) NH shields
3) SR shields
4) NR shields
5) TD shields
6) MR shields
7) Borderless alphas
8) Bordered alphas
9) RR shields

I wish there was a design of a "state look" shield in the past though or a plant/animal type shield associated with a particular state of habitat they are mainly found in etc. Similar to what we see on some of the North American roads.

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Jul 21, 2021, 9:51:27 AMJul 21
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I particularly like the ones found in Alberta or Quebec though...

Jul 21, 2021, 10:19:54 AMJul 21
There very vast majority of US states and Canadian provinces have very simple designs. A ‘state look’, such as the Utah beehive or George Washington’s silhouette in Washington, will often adversely affect legibility at 100 kmh so states have rather been moving to “the simpler the better” ever since the shields were first incorporated into the green signs as opposed to being standalone. So far as that’s concerned, a shield that tracks the outline of the state weapon - sorry I think it’s a bit useless. 

Taking things back to the question “to alpha or not to alpha”: alphas allow for more efficient sign design compared to shields, because you’re looking at substantially the same capital height as normal lettering and because it’s generally not such a huge design element to factor in. Plus you don’t need to design something new for every class of road you have in mind; you just change the prefix. But with that general principle in mind, I have to say that the actual implementation throughout Australia hasn’t really impressed me. All too often, they’ve continued to use old designs and just placed the alpha where the shield used to be. Which doesn’t fly as the alpha is just a different animal compared to a shield. 

This is also where bordered alphas often resulted in better signs: not because the borders themselves are so good (give me a borderless alpha on a South African sign or on UK green signage any time), but because it improved legibility in situations where the alpha was just given the position where the historic shield used to be...

On 21/07/2021 at 15:58, #130km/hforthehume wrote:


Jul 24, 2021, 9:24:01 PMJul 24
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I did one for Queensland, knowing their love for the State of Origin, I decided to make a shield based on that.

Musa Hodzic

Jul 26, 2021, 6:25:48 PMJul 26
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