Here’s a real treat for fans of visual design and information graphics:
In 1967, the New York City Transit Authority realized it had a problem: signage and wording used throughout the Big Apple’s subway system was in disarray. The system carried no unified look or visual direction, making it difficult for commuters and tourists alike to navigate the vast underground transit system. Recognizing that a change was needed in their visual language, the MTA turned to communication designers Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda of Unimark International for help. In 1970, they published the New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual, an internal use-only, ring binder-format style guide that became the “bible” of MTA visual signage for decades.
While copies of the original MTA style manual is long out of print and rare to find (a free digital version is available), the book is returning to print in 2015 through an outstanding 30-day Kickstarter campaign happening right now. True to form, the reprinted New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual spans 364 pages with full size scans of the original manual and additional essays bound in beautiful paper printed in Italy and licensed exclusively from the MTA. Early pledges sold out original reprint runs, but an additional 500 have been made available. We could not recommend funding a project more.