40th Anniversary of the MTA Subway Graphics

Renaissance Man's picture

If you've ever been bored on a New York City subway, you may have noticed certain design inconsistencies in the way the transit authority demarcates the different lines. For example, most train lines are marked by white letters -- except for the N/Q/R/W lines, where the letters are black. Illuminated panels on the newest subway cars don't use iconic colors anymore to identify the train line. Why?

Font fanatics were finally given answers to these questions courtesy Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda of Unimark. These two men were hired in 1966 to overhaul the ancient and confusing signage system left over from the consolidation of multiple train companies in 1940.

Read more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-vinci/40th-anniversary-of-the-m_b_4...

Jackson's picture

FYI, Paul Shaw's excellent and definitive book on the subject. http://www.helveticasubway.com/

eliason's picture

And also the readily accessible essay that preceded the book:
http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/the-mostly-true-story-of-helvetica-and-t...

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