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18 Nov There is a commonly held belief that Helvetica is the signage typeface of the New York City subway system, a belief reinforced by Helvetica. 17 Jul Blue Pencil Edition Front Cover: “Subway” stamped in white foil on black linen in Akzidenz Grotesk BQ Medium. Blue Pencil Edition Back. Helvetica and the New York City Subway System. Abstract. The threads just mentioned were typical design considerations at that time; today issues of.

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The MTA Manual listed the following equipment: However, when the IND was established inhe created a new style of sans serif capitals to accompany the stripped-down decoration of the stations.

The name tablets were composed of small tiles in both serif wubway sans serif roman capitals. Cities need street designers who consider the font on signs, the colors on the signs, placement.

Mergenthaler Linotype belatedly responded to the foreign invasion in with advertisements for Trade Gothic. It is unclear whether Scannell’s announcement at the MoMA symposium that the NYCTA had hired Unimark referred to the first contract or to the second contract the design firm had with the agency. Duintjer and Kho Liang Le, began in The captions were all willy-nilly and the pictures didn’t seem to go in any real order.

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The detailed survey carried out by the TA in December was a necessary follow-up to Noorda’s mid investigations and an essential prelude to Unimark’s subsequent formulation of comprehensive signage guidelines. Schipol alphabet used on a bus. But mere mortals probably don’t want to buy their own copy just to learn to distinguish Standard from Helvetica.

Some signs were installed as early aswhen the TA began a program of station renovation under the guidance of in-house architect Paul Katz.

In the wake of this disaster, Prof. The way it was and still is: By the early s the New Haven line was sporting white signs with red bands at the top and Helvetica.


Shaw describes the slow typographic changeover supplementing his systemm with more than images–photographs, sketches, type samples, and documents.

It might be because the problem of signage has many of coty same design challenges as the design of software. As a part of our ongoing Member Spotlight series, we recently had an opportunity to talk with new member, Designer, Djelicka Pillot.

The sizes of type were kept.

But that did not happen, due to two factors: I would highly recommend this, systen I think you probably need to read it in an actual book format – I’m not sure how it would translate in an e-book. The mix-and-match mentality of the mids was no longer an option. Combination of hand-painted first sentence and silkscreened hand-cut stencil lettering Djelicka Pillot October 31, At the proper time, the operations department directed the empty train to leave 57th Street and advance south to 47th Street, and both trains were directed to watch for each other and enter the station together and slowly.

Along with the platform signage Noorda designed route diagrams, neighborhood maps, clock faces and posters for each station.

The supplement codified the major changes of the revised manual by providing high quality artwork for the new service disks and diamonds, route names and colors, and ancillary symbols. In addition, as neew signs are replaced, they will indicate route and destinations, as well as the color-code. Ava rated it really liked it Oct 09, Vickers’ goal was to make it easier for riders to quickly recognize their stop upon entering a station. Efforts to untangle this visual mess began in the mids, when the city transit authority hired the design firm Unimark International to create a clear and consistent sign system.

Beginning in the early s, stations were systematically lengthened to accommodate newer and longer cars. The same year that the Red Line of the Metropolitana Milanese opened, plans for modernizing the Boston subway system were announced.


The (Mostly) True Story of Helvetica and the New York City Subway

One of the reasons that Vignelli was unhappy with the TA’s handling of Unimark’s signage recommendations is that they were carried out by its own sign shop. Signs were allowed to be a wider variety of lengths and there was a wider variety of fabrication options, including silkscreened vinyl adhesive backing for updates to the porcelain enamel signs.

A quick read due to the heavy use of photographs and small text blocks. Three years later it was yorl by D.

Helvetica and the New York City Subway System – Fonts In Use

Jul 12, Eric rated it eubway it. He also criticized the new TA logo by Sundberg-Ferar as dated. A plea and a plan yori improved passenger information in the New York subways. I stuck with the visuals, modest text blocks, and illustration captions rather than digging into many of the footnotes—I may be becoming a bit of a type design geek, but I’m not that knowledgeable yet!

There were no reasons, technical or otherwise, not to use Helvetica.

Helvetica and the New York City Subway System: The True (Maybe) Story by Paul Shaw

These letters, inspired by Art Deco, were heavier and more geometric than the earlier sans serifs rooted in 19th-century grotesques. The black-on-white color scheme is now reversed.

If you were to ask me why I find any of this interesting, I would not be able to tell you. The hevletica station names on the porcelain-enamel signs were rendered in condensed sans serif capitals derived from common sign-painting models. The bulk of his design dealt with issues sywtem sign placement, color, word selection, etc.