MBTA Signage Discussion

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MBTA Signage Discussion

Postby rhodiecub2 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 4:28 pm

When did they start putting up the generic MBTA signs on the rapid stations? I mean the signs with the white Arial font and colored background and white bottom. I noticed in some old photos from the and some stations didn't have any names or just a few wooden or iron signs with the name on it.
Last edited by rhodiecub2 on Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MassBayMC1131 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:25 pm

they have had those for as long as i can remember.... i looked up some old red line pictures i had and the earliest picture i could find with stations signs were from the early 70's so that might have been when.
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Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:32 pm

1967, the same year they scrapped the confusing mishmash of route numbers (62 Boston College; 61 Cleveland Circle; 69 Watertown; 57 Heath Street; 39 Arborway; 28 Mattapan; 4 Riverside) and went with the simpler 4-color-lines-with-letter-branches naming system we have today. At first the signs were just hung sparsely on the platforms. It took a little while to get every station painted over, splashed in signs, and given a universal look. They did major renovations on a few stations in need of total overhaul and then did a sweeping program of repairs and repainting to fix things up, since the MTA and latter-day BERy did virtually nothing for upkeep for decades and most stations were still in their badly crumbling original opening-day decor. You can see in the old photos that EVERYTHING used to be as blighted and decayed as Boylston was before last-year's spiff-up.
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Postby Epsilon » Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:39 pm

I've never been able to find a picture of the Charlestown Elevated stations with the new style of station signage... Did the MBTA simply not bother, since the plan was to get rid of them, or am I not looking hard enough? I've noticed it's hard to find pictures of the Charlestown El in general. (A shame half the images don't work on the NETransit photo essay)
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Postby MassBayMC1131 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:44 pm

thats true! have you looked on world.nycsubway.org.... you have to click on boston in the list below
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Postby onthegreenline » Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:20 pm

If you look in the post about the old pictures of the el, a few actually reveal that there are newer signage in the stations - there are a few pictures of dover with the signs.
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Postby Epsilon » Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:50 pm

onthegreenline wrote:If you look in the post about the old pictures of the el, a few actually reveal that there are newer signage in the stations - there are a few pictures of dover with the signs.
Dover's on the Washington Street El... I was talking about the Charlestown El (Everett, Sullivan, Thompson, City, and North Station I believe)
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Re: Generic MBTA signs

Postby astrosa » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:37 pm

rhodiecub2 wrote:I mean the signs with the white Arial font and colored background and white bottom.


Minor nitpick...the font is actually Helvetica, not Arial. :-D
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Postby rhodiecub2 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:38 pm

Did the Washington EL stations ever use the MBTA spider map used during the 70s and 80s? The stations looked as though there were only minimal signage in the stations.
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Postby Ron Newman » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:40 pm

yes, all stations used the spider maps, since the mid-1960s.
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Postby helium » Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:58 pm

rhodiecub2 wrote:
I mean the signs with the white Arial font and colored background and white bottom.


Minor nitpick...the font is actually Helvetica, not Arial. Very Happy




Another minor nitpick........Microscam actually stole the design of Helvetica from the Hass foundry and called it Arial, so it's basically the same, and comes for free on 99% of the worlds computers. :-)
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Postby astrosa » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:18 pm

helium wrote:Another minor nitpick........Microscam actually stole the design of Helvetica from the Hass foundry and called it Arial, so it's basically the same, and comes for free on 99% of the worlds computers. :-)


I know - but they're not exactly the same, and it's usually easy to spot the differences if you know what to look for. While Helvetica is widely used in all sorts of professional applications, such as on MBTA signage and equipment lettering, Arial is generally considered inferior and is used mainly in applications like websites where compatibility is an issue. Since almost everyone has that font, you don't have to worry about their computer substituting a different one than what you specified.

This is really digressing, though...
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Postby Otto Vondrak » Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:26 am

Generic?

ARIAL?


I... I don't even know where to begin. I need to go... sit down or something. Arial. I'll... I'll come back in a little bit to post.

Whew.

-ot...
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Postby rhodiecub2 » Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:31 am

Epsilon wrote:I've never been able to find a picture of the Charlestown Elevated stations with the new style of station signage... Did the MBTA simply not bother, since the plan was to get rid of them, or am I not looking hard enough? I've noticed it's hard to find pictures of the Charlestown El in general. (A shame half the images don't work on the NETransit photo essay)


Getting back to your question, I looked at some old photos of the Charlestown EL and it didn't look like the MBTA bothered putting in the new style station signs. It probably didn't seem worth it especially since that stations would eventually be demolished 7 or 8 years later.

http://world.nycsubway.org/perl/show?18436

http://world.nycsubway.org/perl/show?18434

http://world.nycsubway.org/perl/show?37151

LINK (this one sort of has a sign)

LINK
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Postby Epsilon » Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:40 pm

http://naphotos.nerail.org/showpic/?pho ... ey=Ronkarr <- This one does seem to have a orange sign... however, it's not really the MBTA "Standard" sign text, it reminds me of the signs at the temporary Charles/MGH station actually.
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