Inspiration – The NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standard Manual

Dear Students,

Please click the link below to explore a great piece of both NYC and Graphic Design History.

Behold,  The NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standard Manual

Designed by Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda, Unimark, 1970

I would love to hear your reactions and feedback in the comments section below! Each student will leave a comment this week.

**after you “post” your comment I will have to manually approve it – you may not see it show up right away.

Some Questions to ponder and react to:

  1. What is your general feedback on the manual? Do you like it? Dislike it? Please Explain. Do you find it to be well designed, illustrated and clear in its application?

2. The manual was published in 1970. Does it still hold up for today’s world?

3. What is missing or should be added for today’s world of NYC Transit?

4. What additional questions are you left with?

2 thoughts on “Inspiration – The NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standard Manual”

  1. It’s pretty cool how calculated this is. I think that it’s kind of like creating a visual language that people can understand and become universal. It also remind me of some Architectural work such as creating floor plans or UX design which has a lot of practical methodology with it. It definitely takes a lot of patience and understanding to be able to do this and is something to admire.

  2. I agree above. I did not know how complex and carefully planned the graphics of the MTA were. In addition, how helpful and specific the guides are to when it comes to design. It’s like they made their own branding to follow, and it is very iconic. I think they should add more colors and numbers, and make the elements more oomph. (P train, colour pink.) My one question is that, why did they shut down these trains and replace them with buses? Imagine how useful the 8, AA, even 12 would be in this day! (Fun fact: there are 472 NYC train stations in total and 47 trains. Imagine how less delays we would get if there was more trains!)

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