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. 21 Apr Helvetica and the New York City Subway System: The True (Maybe) Story, by Paul Shaw. J.R. Osborn J.R. Osborn is a Lecturer at Georgetown. Helvetica and the New York City Subway System has 95 ratings and 17 reviews. Dale said: Helvetica is a sans-serif font based on Standard (akzidenz grotes.

Author: Kagashura Brakus
Country: Jamaica
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Travel
Published (Last): 18 December 2007
Pages: 175
PDF File Size: 2.68 Mb
ePub File Size: 8.52 Mb
ISBN: 173-4-45128-761-6
Downloads: 49295
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Aranris

The book can be ordered online at http: Not only could Helvetica be set closely but it was available in a variety of sizes and weights and on a variety of typesetting systems.

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

His suggestion proved prescient. Trivia About Helvetica and the Writings Shop Books Articles Archive. You can also learn to he,vetica the difference. The heritage of these commuter lines was reflected in the MTA Manual ‘s color-coding decisions: When Vignelli designed the subway map he was no longer a member of Unimark International.

Did they work from proofs of type made in-house suhway ordered from outside type houses? Hardcoverpages.

He also wanted the signage to be standardized. The book version takes into yoek new information and is supplemented by comprehensive notes, a bibliography and a chronology of the New York City subway helvetica and the new york city subway system.

A similar situation is now occurring with the newest subway cars that have LED displays instead of disks and roll-ups for route designations.

I just hope anf I have systme all of the typographical errors. The way it was and still is: The issues go well beyond the choice of font – Vignelli’s original system simply chose Helvetica as the only font in order to reduce visual clutter and confusion. Salomon concluded his proposal by stating: Nrw True Maybe Story. Jimmy Lin rated it it was amazing Nov 02, To answer those questions this essay explores several important histories: It imported types from Berthold, Stempel, Klingspor, Haas and Nebiolo as well as those from its parent company.

Next, the reflective form was photographed on a Brightype camera to create a photomechanical master. The lettering for the Milan metro signs was a modified version of Helvetica drawn by Noorda himself. helvetica and the new york city subway system


This enabled him to tightly pack letters together—as in his famous posters for the Piccolo Teatro in Milan—without having to cut up galley proofs. Similar markings were used for the other subsidiary lines.

The two are very similar at first glance, but inspection of some key letters C, G, 2 can distinguish them and the feeling when I learned how to do it — it was like getting a nerd superpower. Even if the shop worked from a book instead, Helvetica would not have been an option since no American type book at the time included it. Wordspacing, letterspacing, leading and the number of lines per sign were carefully detailed.

Vignelli was already an enthusiastic advocate for Helvetica prior to his move to the United States. They were usually white letters on a colored background often dark green for the IND and dark blue for the IRT and BMTyet many were also black on a white background. Forbes’ sign system for it employed modular panels with sans serif lettering in black on white though white on black was allowed for some levels of citt combined with arrows. It did not have enough money to pay Unimark to create a complete subqay of design recommendations or even an explanation of the modular system; and helvetica and the new york city subway system failed to ask for a working document.

The text was black nww a white background; helvetica and the new york city subway system nes was Standard. Schipol alphabet used on a bus. She was on the AIGA board of directors and was well familiar with graphic design firms, especially the nascent Unimark.

This is an updated, expanded, annotated and profusely illustrated version of the essay originally written by me for AIGA Voice in the fall of The fity s were the helvetica and the new york city subway system when the subway system was probably at its lowest ebb, along with the city itself.

View all 3 comments. Shaw describes the slow typographic changeover supplementing his text with more than images—photographs, sketches, ane samples, and documents.

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

The system was publicized in but the airport did not open until two years later. Many of the informational signs warned against criminal, dangerous helvetica and the new york city subway system unhealthy behavior: Apparently, the TA did make some kind of an attempt in to improve the signage within the subway system.


They were only installed on the platforms and not throughout the stations as Vignelli had urged. The book gives an interesting chronology of how what eventually became the MTA system was signed, and how Helvetica came to be intimately associated with the New York City subway system. The subway map has led many—both within and without the design professions—to assume that Vignelli designed the NYCTA signage system on his own and that it used Helvetica.

It was the first true integration of the IND and BMT and resulted in the creation of a new station at Grand Street, eight new routes and several new free-transfer points. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. One reason for this lacuna is that, helvetica and the new york city subway system the time, coordinated subway sign systems were rare.

Helvetica and the New York City Subway System on Vimeo

Things were even worse than the Times realized—the AA line had been renamed the K. The designers of the Helvetica font claimed that its design had better balance between positive and negative space than other similar fonts, reducing the appearance of gaps and clumps in running text.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. There is a commonly held belief that Helvetica is the signage typeface of the New York City subway system, a belief reinforced by HelveticaGary Hustwit’s popular documentary about the typeface.

It is yorrk serious look at the history of the Helvetica typeface in the New York Subway System the iconic use of the font in the US, apparently.