California US Route 101 north, Santa Barbara, San Francisco freeway guide sign



Because California was one of the first places in the United States to begin building freeways, its engineers were among the first to struggle with the question of how to design signage for high-speed roads. As a result, early California signage didn’t look very much like that found in the present day.  One decision made fairly early on was to use signs with a black background and white foreground. Signs in this color scheme were installed throughout the 1950s. When construction of the Interstate System got underway, new national standards were laid down for freeway signage. These standards were made from lessons learned from the combined experience of all of the states which had built freeways at the time. California began to comply with some parts of the new standards in 1958, but continued to use the traditional black-and-white color scheme. Midway through 1959, they finally adopted the green backgrounds being used by the other 47 states (although California would continue to have a number of unique quirks well into the 21st century).

Our US Route 101 north, Santa Barbara, San Francisco sign is an exact replica of one of the signs made in the short-lived 1958 style. As is typical of this signage style, it features the modern road sign fonts and visual language (such as down arrows to indicate lane usage) but with the black backgrounds used by older California signage. An excellent throwback to the golden age of the automobile on the West Coast, it makes an excellent addition to any collection of California automobilia.

Our US Route 101 north, Santa Barbara, San Francisco sign is flat printed on heavy gauge steel. It includes a glossy, non-reflective coating, which makes it highly resemble the porcelain enamel of the original sign. Not only that, but it makes it weatherproof enough the sign can be installed indoors or outdoors. Whichever you choose, we’ve included mounting holes to make installation simple. The original sign was huge; about seven and a half feet tall! We’ve scaled it down to the following convenient sizes:

  • 19¼ inches × 7 inches
  • 27½ inches × 10 inches
  • 41¼ inches × 15 inches
  • 82½ inches × 30 inches (This one is big enough we’ll print it on three panels that you can assemble into one big sign.)

We can make signs like this for just about any destination in the world! Got your mind on something you can’t find on our website? Drop us a line and request it! Just contact Jake to place a custom order.

Additional information

Weight N/A
Dimensions N/A
Spec year



There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “California US Route 101 north, Santa Barbara, San Francisco freeway guide sign”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *