The Resource Helvetica and the New York City subway system : the true (maybe) story, Paul Shaw

Helvetica and the New York City subway system : the true (maybe) story, Paul Shaw

Label
Helvetica and the New York City subway system : the true (maybe) story
Title
Helvetica and the New York City subway system
Title remainder
the true (maybe) story
Statement of responsibility
Paul Shaw
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
For years, the signs in the New York City subway system were a bewildering hodge-podge of lettering styles, sizes, shapes, materials, colors, and messages. The original mosaics (dating from as early as 1904), displaying a variety of serif and sans serif letters and decorative elements, were supplemented by signs in terracotta and cut stone. Over the years, enamel signs identifying stations and warning riders not to spit, smoke, or cross the tracks were added to the mix. Efforts to untangle this visual mess began in the mid-1960s, when the city transit authority hired the design firm Unimark International to create a clear and consistent sign system. We can see the results today in the white-on-black signs throughout the subway system, displaying station names, directions, and instructions in crisp Helvetica. This book tells the story of how typographic order triumphed over chaos. The process didn't go smoothly or quickly. At one point New York Times architecture writer Paul Goldberger declared that the signs were so confusing one almost wished that they weren't there at all. Legend has it that Helvetica came in and vanquished the competition. Paul Shaw shows that it didn't happen that way--that, in fact, for various reasons (expense, the limitations of the transit authority sign shop), the typeface overhaul of the 1960s began not with Helvetica but with its forebear, Standard (AKA Akzidenz Grotesk). It wasn't until the 1980s and 1990s that Helvetica became ubiquitous. Shaw describes the slow typographic changeover (supplementing his text with more than 250 images--photographs, sketches, type samples, and documents). He places this signage evolution in the context of the history of the New York City subway system, of 1960s transportation signage, of Unimark International, and of Helvetica itself
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Shaw, Paul
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • maps
Index
no index present
LC call number
Z250.5.H45
LC item number
S53 2011
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Helvetica type
  • Subways
  • Signs and signboards
  • Helvetica type
  • Signs and signboards
  • Subways
  • New York (State)
Label
Helvetica and the New York City subway system : the true (maybe) story, Paul Shaw
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
  • Helvetica triumphant : the subway system today
  • The labyrinth
  • Bringing order out of chaos
  • Transportation signage systems in the 1960s
  • The New York City Transit Authority and Unimark International
  • The myth of the Helvetica juggernaut
  • Standard, Helvetica, and the New York City subway system
  • The fate of the Unimark system
  • Helvetica infiltrates the New York City subway system
Dimensions
25 x 29 cm
Edition
Rev. ed.
Extent
xi, 131 pages
Isbn
9780262015486
Lccn
2010039985
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Other physical details
color illustrations, color maps
System control number
  • (OCoLC)667213073
  • (OCoLC)ocn667213073
Label
Helvetica and the New York City subway system : the true (maybe) story, Paul Shaw
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
  • Helvetica triumphant : the subway system today
  • The labyrinth
  • Bringing order out of chaos
  • Transportation signage systems in the 1960s
  • The New York City Transit Authority and Unimark International
  • The myth of the Helvetica juggernaut
  • Standard, Helvetica, and the New York City subway system
  • The fate of the Unimark system
  • Helvetica infiltrates the New York City subway system
Dimensions
25 x 29 cm
Edition
Rev. ed.
Extent
xi, 131 pages
Isbn
9780262015486
Lccn
2010039985
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Other physical details
color illustrations, color maps
System control number
  • (OCoLC)667213073
  • (OCoLC)ocn667213073

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