Massimo Vignelli helps you get home
Posted on February 15 2010[caption id="attachment_67" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Massimo Vignelli's Original NYC Subway Sign Design"][/caption]
Yes, the navigational signs were first designed with black text on a white background. At sometime in the 1970's an unknown designer inverted the design to a black background with white type. The reason for this is said to be because dirt from the the trains made the words difficult to read.I finally know who Massimo Vignelli is. Not that I didn't know of him, he's a famous designer, but what I meant was that I've heard so many people talk about his character, his italian accent and his humor that it was great curiosity of mine. I recently attended the AIGA NY event, "Navigating the Labyrinth: Unimark International and the New York Subway System", which he was a speaker at. It was a great event, highly anticipated from my peers and superiors, and it was almost a full house. Even the present sign-decision-maker of the NYC MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) [that's what will call him since he's not a designer] attended and gave his Brooklyn accented two cents worth from his auditorium seat. Since I've lived in NYC for almost 5 years now I'm very familiar with pros and cons of the NYC transit system as well as its confusing maps, so I was very interested on how this talk would go. The talk was a collaboration of all the designers who had worked on the NYC transit system throughout the years. All of them complained about how higher-ups in the MTA never took design seriously and that is why NYC has such a bad rap and wandering riders. I just reminds me again that graphic designers are needed in this world - not just because they make things sell but to make life a little easier.