Chapter 1. Purpose And Principles

In the 1960s, the NYC subway system was a maze of mismatched signage and broken wayfinding. With no clear unifying language, travelers were getting lost. The New York City Transit Authority hired Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda to design a solution.

Vignelli and Noorda spent several years underground, watching the flow of passengers getting on and off trains and moving through stations. They studied people’s habits. What paths did people take? When and where did they look for information?

The resulting New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual (Fig 1.1) was an impressively detailed set of ...

Get Expressive Design Systems now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.