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How Graphic Design Improved Life of Commuters in NYC

This presentation showcases how graphic design drastically improved passengers flow in the NYC Subway.

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How Graphic Design Improved Life of Commuters in NYC

  1. 1. YVAN C. GOUDARD Manager Graphic Design
  2. 2. If you found yourself in the New York City subway in the 1960s, you were probably lost.
  3. 3. 6 millionfares / day carried by 9,000 trains
  4. 4. • Signs didn’t help you find your way. • Standards didn’t exist. • Even handmade lettering was common. • Mass confusion was the status quo.
  5. 5. 1966, New York City Transit Authority calls Unimark’s Graphic Design skills to the rescue. 02
  6. 6. • At one time the largest design firm in the world• Founded 1965 • Bankrupt 1977 • Leader in corporate design that is still widely followed • Rejected the idea of ‘designer-as-artist’, embraced standardization and systems • Emphasized the use of the grid as an organizational tool for corporate communications
  7. 7. Massimo Vignelli (1931 – 2014) • co-founder of Unimark • worked firmly within the Modernist tradition • focused on simplicity through the use of basic geometric forms
  8. 8. In 1970, they came up with a solution for the complex problem of NYC commuters. 03
  9. 9. To design architectural or transportation graphics means mostly to convey the information at the point of decision. Never before, never after. Massimo Vignelli
  10. 10. years
  11. 11. years
  12. 12. years
  13. 13. The system includes: • Panels of 1’x1’ for line identification and direction • 1’x2’ for information • 1’x4’ for direction • 1’x8’ for station identification
  14. 14. Attention to details 04
  15. 15. How the information is conveyed is a matter of interpretation, but even then there are quite precise rules for legibility, distance and size of type. Massimo Vignelli
  16. 16. Today 05
  17. 17. 1,700,000,000yearly passengers
  18. 18. 656miles
  19. 19. 468stations
  20. 20. 110years of operation
  21. 21. And still the same graphics standards used over the past 4 decades!
  22. 22. … even on digital media.
  23. 23. Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style. Massimo Vignelli
  24. 24. In brief, this is a perfect illustration of how design communicated the solution of a complex problem to a wide audience. 06