Pentagram Designers Bring Back Massimo Vignelli's 1970s New York City Subway Style Guide

This rare copy of the New York City Transit Authority Graphic Standards Manual, discovered in 2012 in the basement of Pentagram Design, still bears its owner's stamp Courtesy the 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.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.