Current California Highway Markers Current County
Highway Markers
Trailblazer Guide signs (BGS)*

California's route markers are fashioned after the 'miners spade' and look like an outline of an upturned spade shovel. the 3-digit shield is wider to accomodate the extra number, but still maintaining the spade shape. California has used this shape on it's shields since highways first began being signed. Note that CalTrans uses an outline version of this shield on highway guide signs *(also known by roadgeeks as BGS or "Big Green Signs") Older versions of these signs featured button copy with glass reflectors imbeded into the sign copy for nighttime visibility. These older signs are being phased out.


Current US Highway Markers
Trailblazer Guide signs (BGS)*

California currently uses the cutout US shield with a black border outling the familiar shape. On highway guide signs (BGS) a modified version of the shield is used that omits the letters US. There are some older guide signs that have used a white on green version with button copy and a black on white version with button copy. these signs are being phased slowly out of usage.


Current Interstate Highway Markers
Two Digit Interstate Routes Three Digit Interstates Business Loops

California's interstate markers conform to those used in the rest of the United States. There are some exceptions however; some of the shields used on the guide signs feature button copy numbers and outline. These signs are being slowly phased out as signs are replaced. As in other states, the state name is slowly being phased out of use on the shields. Many california Interstate route sheilds still feature the state name above the number.


Historical Highway Markers Historical Interstate Markers
from the 1940's US shield from the 1930's US shield from the 1940's from the former I-5W (now I-580 and I-505) from the former I-15E (now I-215)

Above are shield's used on California highways and interstates in the past. This is not a complete representation of all the shields in use, and the exact dates that highway markers changed to the newer versions is not certain. Former Interstate shields, state shields and US shields featured button copy especially when they were used on guide signs. Many examples of button copy on guide signs exist as California is very slow in replacing signage.