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19 SEPTEMBER 2014

New York City Transit Authority Graphic Standards Manual

"In the 1960s, the New York subways were a mess, sign–wise. Station names and metro lines were spelled out in a hodgepodge of sizes, shapes, and styles. The original mosaic tiles had been joined by cut stone and terracotta–all of which clashed with newer enamel signs. They were not only inconsistent in terms of style but also in where they were placed, so straphangers didn't know where to look for directions on how to get from point A to point B.

In 1970, following the merger of the IND and BMT lines, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) hired Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda, designers at the firm Unimark, to put an end to the typographic chaos. The system they devised still informs signs made today and is painstakingly outlined in a 174–page manual"

(Belinda Lanks, 15 September 2014, Businessweek)

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TAGS

1960s1970Bob Noorda • Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit • Christopher Bonanos • clashing design • communication designdestination identificationdirectional information • directions • fastidious detail • graphic communicationgraphic designer • Hamish Smyth • Helvetica • hodgepodge • inconsistencies • Independent Subway System (IND) • information design • instruction manual • International Typographic Style • Jesse Reed • Kickstarter • letter combination • manualMassimo Vignelli • merger • metro line • metro station • Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA • Michael Bierutmodern design • modernist graphics • New York City • New York City Transit Authority Graphic Standards Manual • New York subway • Niko Skourtis • official font • organisation and communicationPentagram Designrationalisation • reissue • sans-serif typefacesignagesignage designsigns • spacing • spatial orientation • standards manual • straphanger • style guidesubwaysymbol system • system signage • train station • typographic chaos • typography • Unimark • wayfinding

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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