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Guide Signs to Get You Where You’re Going on the Road

June 13, 2017

Many people don’t appreciate the importance of road and guide signs and their ability to guide us from point A to point B in a safe manner. They keep both drivers and pedestrians safe during times when traffic is altered due to re-routing or road construction. They guide us to our destinations, provide us with reminders to take extra precautions during hazardous conditions, to adjust the speed of our vehicles, and stay extra alert in school and hospital zones. Think of the potential tragedies that are averted on our roadways because of traffic and instructional signs.

Signs are divided into three specific groups:

  1. Regulatory signs that provide information on traffic laws and regulations
  2. Warning or Hazard signs
  3. Guide signs that show routes, destinations, directions, distances, points of interest, and other geographic and cultural information

Different Signs, Colors and Shapes for Different Purposes:

According to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices developed by the U.S. Transportation Department, there are 13 different sign categories.

They include:

1.Regulatory signs: Regulatory signs are square with black lettering on white, they are used to post speed signs and other rules of the road.

2.Warning signs: Warning signs are diamond shaped and have a yellow background and black lettering. In rural areas, they can warn drivers of potential animal dangers; in urban areas they warn drivers of train and railway crossings.

3.Guide signs for conventional roads: These show roads merging, directions and mile markers.

4.Guide signs for freeways and expressways: Guide signs on interstates can be shield shaped, which alerts travelers to the road they are on, others include oblong white and black often with arrows pointing to directions.

5.Toll road signs: There are different colors used in toll road signs, whether they are directing tolls (yellow and white) or cost of tolls (white with black letters).

6.Preferential and managed lane signs: These can include notifications for lanes used for special purposes like HOV, bus lanes and motorcycle lanes.

7.General information signs: General signs can include mile markers, directions, and other types of general and guide signs.

8.Services signs: Service signs are found near interstate exits which show the availability of gas, food, lodging and emergency medical care nearby. These oblong signs have a blue background white lettering.

9.Specific service (logoed) signs: Logoed signs use familiar logos as recognition of a specific restaurant or hotel that drivers may be looking for.

10.Tourist-designed directional signs: These include recreational signs for camping, food, gas, ranger stations, etc.. They are generally square with white lettering on a brown background.

11.Variable message signs: These signs are usually illuminated over the highway and alert about upcoming road hazards and other road information.

12.Cultural areas of interest signs: These signs are usually brown and show areas of interest, trails, viewing areas and others that lead to areas of interest to travelers.

13.Emergency signs: Emergency signs are diamond shaped with a pink background and black lettering. They are used for accidents, emergency scenes, detours, check points and more.

Zumar for Road Sign Needs:

Zumar Industries, Inc., is the leading provider of road signs in nearly every category. They also offer welding, fabrication, digital and screen printing designs for all sign-related needs. With three locations, they service a wide range of businesses and municipalities in the western U.S. They have offices in Arizona: 623-931-7446, California: 562-941-4633 and Washington: 253-536-7740. For more info email

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