1939 McLaughlin’s 3D Fonts


Popular Science, October 1939

Optical illusions are now being turned to the cause of highway safety with the recent development by Frank Mclaughlin, a Chicago, Ill., industrial designer, of road signs that are said to have a three-dimensional effect, although they are actually stencilled flat on the pavement. Designed according to a mathematical formula that applies to each letter of the alphabet, the sign’s property of seeming to stand up away from the street makes it visible to motorists 150 feet farther away than conventional road markers.

Of course McLaughlin’s amazing 3D fonts had drivers looking for pots on the road at least as often as they obeyed the order to stop. Other great suggestions may have included SUB, YAWLIAR GNISSORC and 99 ETUOR.Yawliar Gnissorcs have proven to be quite dangerous on the road.