If you're a "roadgeek," then you already know what cutouts are. In fact, you may know where these are. A close look at these old signs will show that they are different from those erected today. They're smaller for one thing. And the metal is actually cut out (hence the name) to the shape of the US, state or Interstate highway shield. Also note the black borders around the edges. Highway departments found that it was cheaper to make the signs the way you see them today. The new ones almost look like decals affixed to the metal. These signs are in Christiansburg, Virginia. I suspect that when they need to be replaced, it will be with the newer style signs.