Monday, June 7, 2010

Inside the MTA sign shop

From NBC 4:

Keeping the nation's largest subway system up-to-date is no easy task -- and ever since the MTA announced huge service changes will take effect June 28, artists at the little known "Sign Shop" in Crown Heights, Brooklyn have been working double-shifts get the job done.

One of the main tasks: silk-screening new signage for the Sixth Avenue line, where the previously brown M train will become an orange-line train for the first time ever.

The huge facility -- in an old Brooklyn trolley barn -- is busier than at any time since 9/11, when temporary service changes required some quick new signs.

"It's a huge challenge, but we embrace it," says John Montemarano, Director of Station Signs for New York City Transit.

He explained that some of the tasks ahead are low-tech -- like placing decals over the soon-to-be-defunct "V" logos.

Other projects are bigger, including brand new aluminum signs for much of the Broadway line, where the Q will be extended to Astoria instead of ending at 57th Street.

The total price tag for new signs, station maps, stickers, decals and other renderings is estimated at $800,000.


georgetheatheist said...

Long live Helvetica!

Ridgewoodian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ridgewoodian said...

georgetheatheist: Long live Helvetica!

Read this.

georgetheatheist said...

Thanks for the info. (See, this site is indeed so-o-o educational).

BTW, I was a colleague of Leslie Savan, the reporter who wrote the Voice article in 1976 about the phenomenon of Helvetica.

Helvetica. Order out of chaos. Law and order live! At least order does.

Best line in the entire article, describing the 1970's subway system : "Dank, overcrowded, underlit, and terrifyingly labyrinthian, the New York subway at its best suggests nothing less depressing than a public lavatory; at its worst, it's a vision of purgatory." Helvetica to the rescue?

For those of you interested in studying a mandatory case of officialdom changing typefaces: