Mar 01, 2010 Artifacts

Also not Helvetica / Standard

These black & white directional tiles still remain in many older stations, and I can’t get enough of them. Found this weekend at the 14th street Union Square stop.

I think typography from this era of the subway is my favorite. Look at the detail of the letterforms, with their oh-so-slight serif points on the edges, the superscripted “TH” tiles and how their underlines quietly create the arrow that points you to the right street.

Abbreviations are also really characteristic from this time. Like “STS” for streets, or “B’WAY” for Broadway.

There’s a sense of warmth in these signs that give the subway some personality. And I am a lover of Helvetica / Standard (The MTA uses both), but the execution of the modern brand is so sloppy. Type from this period was simple and elegant.

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