Posts Tagged ‘New York’

New York Subway Signage

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

The previous post about Valencia train station signage got me thinking about the 28th Street subway station New York. It too had cool old mosaic signage which was nicely complemented by the modern signage below in Helvetica. Mosaic designs really seem to produce interesting and charming typography.

28th Street Subway Station mosaic sign

28th Street Subway Station mosaic sign

The mosaic signage on the other side of the tracks

The mosaic signage on the other side of the tracks

28th Street Subway Station modern sign in helvetica

28th Street Subway Station modern sign in helvetica

GRO Architects’ Best Pedestrian Routes

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Found this really cool pedestrian safety route in Lower Manhattan, New York back in 2007. It really is a clever way of directing people away from the danger of a construction site in an attractive way. It would be great if local Councils here got artists, architects and designers to design similar Best Pedestrian Routes for long-term construction sites in our cities. See GRO Architects for further details on their thinking behind the Best Pedestrian Route on the corner of Broadway and John Street.

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best_pedestrian_route_examples

Cork Signage

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Recently I’ve started to really appreciate the old signage around Cork City and county. Much of the signage is made of stone which is why it has lasted so many generations. Old signage gives us the chance to look into the past and see how generations of Irish before us have read and communicated to one another. The photos below were captured during a walk through Sunday’s Well, Cork.

This ESB (Electricity Supply Board) limestone craved sign was bolted onto an old stone wall. Despite its small size it is a very impressive sign in its simplicity. The font has an industrial feel to it and reminded me of the Port Authority Bus Terminal signage in New York which inspired Hoefler & Frere-Jones to design the Gotham font famous for the Barack Obama Presidential election campaign. It got me thinking how similar the font craved out on the limestone ESB sign was to the font on the Port Authority Bus Terminal sign that inspired the Gotham font itself, (as seen in the Helvetica documentary). The geometric and clear lines of the ESB font show a type of font an engineer would design rather than a designer due to its pure functionality and simplicity. In the past engineers tended to design things to be produced easily which would explain the clean geometric lines of both fonts. Perhaps Obama saw the Gotham font as a typeface the working class could relate to. Judging by his unrivaled popularity and election win, it seems he may of been right.

This rendered sign for billboard and poster printers is really cool. It is partially damaged after someone plastered over it. Thankfully the most of the plaster has fallen off the sign. The font itself is similar enough to the ESB sign above but the “T’s” are slightly less uniform as are the “E’s & L’s”. The large 14 above in the serif font contrasts nicely with the sign. Despite the sign being virtually redundant in use, as the company has long since gone out of business, it is a fantastic visual link to the past.

The Waterworks building on the banks of the Lee is another nice sign. It has an interesting rendered border around the sign, the typography is once again very geometric and clear. The stone work of the of the building is fantastic, especially the borders around the windows and the roof edges.

This final stone sign I noticed is from 1644! Its a very simple font with thin lines and serifs to define the letters. The signage is obviously a religious sign craved into marble stone which was possibly the foundation stone of Sundays Well in Cork, which I think is pretty cool.

“To the Stars”

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Two years ago I visited New York and was fortunate enough to catch a Martin Puryear exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art. The two photos below of Ad Astra (2007), really don’t do the impressive piece justice. The Latin phrase, Ad Astra meaning ‘To the Stars’ – is a fitting name for the a sculpture whose powerful presence really captivated its viewers. Puryear’s work is best seen in person and I was fortunate enough to appreciate it in the a fantastic space at MoMA. I would strongly recommend a visit to see his work.

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