27 April 2008

Annoyance breeds creativity.

Suffice it to say today managed to piss me off. As if three screaming kids aren't enough to drive one to fratricide, I got some decent shots of the roadwork on US190 on my cameraphone... and I can't get them off of the damned phone to put online. So, what do I do? I get loaded. Then I sleep. And after I woke up, I stumbled upon The Great International Highway Makeover. I confess, I'm a bit of a roadgeek at heart, so I dug around. Some of the designs there are pretty cool, but then I looked at the Louisiana shields. Gag, no. I had to make my own.

The first one I decided to do, after getting ahold of a half-decent silhouette and doing some modifications, was a variation on the MUTCD-default circle. However... this is a Louisiana shield, so it has to be special. Screw the circle... I used a fleur-de-lis instead. Not only is it a symbol of Louisiana's French heritage, it's also the emblem the New Orleans Saints use. It's unique to us, as far as any of the 50 states. (Ok, so Detroit, MI, St. Louis, MO and Louisville, KY use it sporadically as well...) I think it came out nicely, considering how crap the fleur-de-lis looked as a blank. My fault, considering I haven't worked a graphics program in months... but I digress. I used a variation of Series E for the numbering, and surprisingly, it all fit into a 2di width scale. I suppose a wide blank could work if they decided to use Series F for 4di's.

Next up, I did one for LA 1, but I did this one in colors. Specifically, the traditional purple (background), green (lettering and outline) and gold (foreground). *"Mardi Gras Mambo" plays in background* It looks good on pixels, but who knows how visible it would actually be at night?

Next, I reversed the coloring of the lettering and outline with the background to make this shield for LA 28 Business. (No longer on the Route Log, but at one point, it used to exist.) This one's in Highway Gothic, I think. I was playing with the Clearview font, then I lost track. As it is, it's meant to be the Business shield. The green background is meant to remind one of an Interstate Business Loop/Spur, of which we have none of here. (And yes, I know that Louisiana doesn't use the "B" suffix on their Business highways. Maybe they should. It's better than not signing them at all!)

The fourth one in the list is one for LA 1088 that uses the fleur-de-lis in a manner that better resembles the current Louisiana highway shield. This one I know for sure, I did in Clearview. It could be a better font for signing the rural highways, especially if they continue to use the current shield.

Finally, I did a cutout version of the shield, possibly for use on freeways, similar to how some Utah and Virginia Interstate-US Route multiplexes have cutout shields for the US Route. In this case, this is for LA 3132, the freeway-standard Shreveport Inner Loop that may someday carry the I-49 designation. (Unless they end up routing it through the city instead.) It uses two different colors for the lettering, and carries a "state name" of "Freeway."

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