New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual

Hello, friend! Hope you are having a great weekend. I want to start sharing my favorite things with you that I own or want in my life in this new series titled “Favorites” and you can find it listed on this website’s main menu bar. Here’s a book that I have been wanting ever since it became available to the public in 2014. Get ready for it, it is a mouthful. It is the New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual. It was released by Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth. The book features scans of Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda’s original graphics standards manual from 1970 that shows the wayfinding, signage design, and usage in a presentation that is logical, cohesive, and straightforward. The best part is that the infamous NYC subway signs that were created by Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda are still in use today.

Excuse me while I nerd out here. 😉

Graphic design can easily be overlooked, but it is so important to know that a lot of decisive thought and planning went into the design of signage that we see around us. The wayfinding signage in this manual used to be part of my everyday existence when I was living in NYC. I still have vivid memories of the signage that helped me get to where I needed to go in a New York minute to my destinations. If it was not for a standardized graphic design for the NY subway, my commute would have been an absolute chaotic nightmare.

If you live or have visited New York City, some of the graphics below would look familiar to you. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves trains, subways, New York or just plain ol’ good design. 🙂

In addition, the book cover is a vibrant orange that has a silkscreened cover and spine that is Italian cloth-wrapped and printed in Italy. What more could you ask for?




I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.


Deborah. ❤

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