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Dust Jacket Articles

NYC Transit Authority Graphics Manual

Dust Jacket
Feb 27, 2018

NYC Transit Authority Graphics Manual

Dust Jacket : NYC Transit Authority Graphics Manual

In the 1960s, New York’s subway was a confusing place – there was no guide for the lettering on signs, so half the time they were handwritten or essentially wrong. How anyone got from one place to another, we shall never know. That was until 1970, when the Standards Manual was published.

In 1967, the NYC Transit Authority, recognizing this vast problem, hired the design firm Unimark, and designers Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda, to create a proper graphic standard for the subway. The result, collected here, is the instantly recognizable font and system still seen today. Honestly, this is a modernist classic, and we’re so lucky that this full size reissue came about thanks to independent publishing house Standards Manual and some well spent funds from Kickstarter.

Standards Manual exist to “archive and preserve artifacts of design history, and make them available to future generations,” according to designers Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth  – you can read about them here, or even better, buy one of their books. We’ve got our eye on the NASA Graphics Standards Manual.