Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The subway, Helvetica, and graphic standards

I recently read a fairly long, very-well researched article on how Helvetica became the typeface of the New York subway.

While the article may only be of interest to typographers and designers, those that would suggest that brute force application of simple templates or clever computer trickery will address an organization’s graphic consistency might invest the time to read it. The article is an excellent review of the real-world challenges of implementing even modest graphic standards, and goes into the complex subtleties of applying uniform ideas to fluid and localized conditions.

As a distantly-related side note, the typographer in me reminds the reader that Arial ≠ Helvetica (more on that elsewhere).

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