That Memorable San Francisco Street Signage

Street signage. Every city and town seems to have their own format for street signs, from the colors and lettering to the format and shape of the signage itself. In my eyes, one city stands out more than any other, San Francisco.

Vintage San Francisco street signage collage

Seeing the all-caps, modern large black letters on a white background just gives me the goosebumps as soon as I enter the city. Being able to capture two signs at once at an intersection, like at Beach and Larkin when visiting Ghirardelli Square, priceless.

Vintage San Francisco street signage @ Fisherman's Wharf

Vintage San Francisco street signage, Market Street

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Having spent so much time in San Fran, seeing specific streets brings back memories of yester-year, while also highlighting great things about the city. When I see Grant, Jackson and Stockton that means I’m in-and-around Chinatown and the Transamerica Pyramid.

Vintage San Francisco street signage at Grant Street in Chinatown

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Vintage San Francisco street signage in Chinatown

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Lombard makes me immediately think of the famous curvy road and Hyde Street evokes thoughts of being on a San Francisco manual cable car going up a very steep incline.

Vintage San Francisco street signage at the famous curvy Lombard Street

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Vintage San Francisco street signage at historic Hyde and Lombard

The Embarcadero signage brings the sea lions at Pier 39 into focus. One street over, Beach brings back memories of trying to park to go to Fisherman’s Wharf and The Embarcadero haha. Great Highway is the first street I hit up when in town, as it rides right along Ocean Beach and the Pacific.

Vintage San Francisco street signage & The Embarcadero

Vintage San Francisco street signage @ Fisherman's Wharf

Vintage San Francisco street signage along Ocean Beach and Pacific Ocean

Van Ness Avenue just makes me think of multiple lanes in each direction and a busy street. I was really careful capturing its street signage. Octavia and Hayes Streets brings me back to memories of the Hayes Valley neighborhood whereas 15th Street is where I usually park when going for a morning coffee at Four Barrel in “The Mission”.

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Vintage San Francisco street signage

In regards to San Francisco and its historic street signage, unfortunately it is not all sunshine and roses. Now days, as you roam S.F., you might notice some signs featuring mixed-case lettering, with the first letter only being capitalized. This is to conform with the goals of the Federal Highway Administration that signs be easier to read. What?! You’ll notice I didn’t capture any signs of this format.

Vintage San Francisco street signage collage

On the plus side you still have time to experience the capital letting as you move about the city. Due to the federal mandate, street signs will get swapped out only when they need to be replaced. Though the Moraga and 23rd Street signage looks a little rough, there is still something historic and beautiful about them.

Vintage San Francisco street signage in Outer Sunset neighborhood

Vintage San Francisco street signage

A few more pics of that vintage and memorable San Francisco street signage for the road.

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Vintage San Francisco street signage

What city or town contains memorable, historic and/or well-designed street signage in your eyes that you have come across in your travels?

11 responses to “That Memorable San Francisco Street Signage

  1. I just did a post on signs also. But i really like yours focusing on the fonts!

    • Very cool, will check it out. There is just something about the signs and lettering that gives me the goosebumps. Like the basic black-and-white look. I guess also because I love San Francisco. 🙂

  2. Napier in New Zealand, well known for being an Art Deco city has all its signage in the city centre in an Art Deco font.

    • Haven’t been to Napier, just found some pics of their signage. Nice look! Black-and-white too, just the opposite in regards to the lettering and sign. 🙂

  3. Truly iconic. Cities like this always have those unique little things that most people don’t notice. Lovely post!! xo
    https://seafoaming.com/

    • Thank you Abby. Agreed! Always trying to notice and observe as much as I can, find the hidden things, when in a city. 🙂

  4. Glad you got the dual language signs from Chinatown. You have a great town, there. Thanks for visiting Under Western Skies.

    • The signs, streets in Chinatown are some of my favorites, most memorable. Glad too. San Francisco is a great, great city! 🙂

  5. I really enjoyed this post. I love San Francisco and related to memories based on streets and parts of the city. Awesome photos of the cool street signs!

    • Thank you! People get to intersections in San Francisco and are waiting to cross. I head to one and look up/around for the street signs first haha!

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