MBTA Signage Discussion

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Postby rhodiecub2 » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:52 pm

Fred Rabin wrote:What's shown on that map as "Harvard" was actually Harvard-Holyoke, another temporary station. I'm told that its remains can be seen but I have not been able to do it.


Isn't it the abandoned old station that's before Harvard on the outbound side and and after Harvard on the inbound side?
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Postby Pete » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:56 am

Otto Vondrak wrote: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...


Yeah, score one for Microsoft.

I never found the MBTA's look "generic" in any kind of bad way. I found it simple, distinct, and easy when I first encountered it.

Which is why it's such a shame that there's no concern whatever for visual consistency these days. It's one thing to be a bumbling, multi-headed, uncoordinated beast, but it's another entirely to announce it to everyone by having all diiferent variations of standard and non-standard graphics. There are presently system maps with all caps, small caps, and capitalized lowercase, there are main sign elements done in various brush lettering on foamcore, there is magic marker written on ads, there is a whole separate beautiful design package for Charlie... it's a graphic mess.

Whether it's true or not, the graphic standards of the MBTA tell customers as soon as they arrive in the system, "We have no idea what we're doing."
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Postby savebowdoin » Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:47 am

Pete wrote:Whether it's true or not, the graphic standards of the MBTA tell customers as soon as they arrive in the system, "We have no idea what we're doing."


You've got it right on.

What irritates me so much is that they continue to violate graphic taboos, like using various fonts, sizes, sign types, colors, symbols, etc. to convey similar messages.

The foam-core signs taped haphazardly to the walls of stations are a disgrace -- such signage should be reserved for stations undergoing major construction. It was fine for them to put these up during the DNC, when there were a bunch of service interruptions and diversions, but to adopt them into their official means of communication is horrible.

Another example: The graphic symbols representing different modes of transportation -- subway, trolley, etc.. These have appeared on various signs at various stations in the past year or two, but NOT system-wide (which would be a fine and welcome addition). They have even used the 'subway' symbol at light rail stations, while a 'light rail' symbol is used at others. Lechmere even uses out-of-left-field signage that says "Green" in black text below the Lechmere name, next to the light rail symbols, and some signs that say simply "Green" with the light rail logo and an arrow. BONKERS!

I could go on for days, but I don't have enough strength in my fingers to type it all!

Mike
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Postby rhodiecub2 » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:25 pm

Let's not forget the taped up decals the T used for on the old system maps that didn't have the Southwest Corridor and the Northwest Extension at that time. I used to see so many of those maps riped and torn off and revealed many of the defunct lines.
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Postby Epsilon » Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:16 pm

My personal favorite are the stickers covering up old Red Line maps in the 15/1600s, it seems like half the time I'm in one of those cars the new map has been removed.
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Postby rhodiecub2 » Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:18 pm

I remember some Blue Line and Green Line stations still had system maps that had the Charlestown EL on it until the mid 90s!
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Postby modorney » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:07 pm

> Isn't it the abandoned old station that's before Harvard

I seem to remember a spur where a few cars could be parked. It was outside (daylight) and it was only used for football games. It had some wooden platforms, and it was south east of Harvard Square.

I'm not sure, but it might have been along Holyoke Street. Possibly called Harvard Holyoke.
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Postby Ron Newman » Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:45 pm

that was called Stadium station and was in the old Eliot Yards. The JFK School of Government and the adjoining JFK Park now occupy that site. I think the Charles Hotel may also be built on part of the old yard. It was nowhere near Holyoke street.
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Postby apodino » Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:15 pm

rhodiecub2 wrote:
Charles_Bowdoin wrote:You guys are right, here's Dudley Sq. Orange with the modern MBTA signage...
http://naphotos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo=2006052423091117878.jpg&byrail%3A107%3AMBTA


Wow! that is such a cool photo. I saw the signage and the maps in there. Did the doors open on both sides on the inbound platform?


As I recall the doors only opened on the right side as seen in this picture. IIRC the other platform was accessable from the street, but only to connect it to a walkway leading to outbound trains. (The inbound platform is over what is now the Dudley busway, and the outbound platform was over washington st.
Rich "Dino" Martin
A one time happy rider of Arborway and the old Washington St. El.
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Signage

Postby Micro Cuts » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:06 pm

1) Do they still have those funky font signs at Alewife, the Mattapan line and anywhere else?

2) The MBTA font is helvetica, but does anyone have a font containing their funky arrows? The ones they put with stairway to street, etc.
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Re: Signage

Postby type 7 3704 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:25 pm

Yep, Alewife still has those funky signs in Eurostile as of last weekend. It's a cool typeface, but I don't think it's very suitable for signage.

Now what would rock is if they used Futura for signage.
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Re: "Generic" MBTA signs

Postby Arborway » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:32 pm

Broadway still has signs in Eurostile font.
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Re: "Generic" MBTA signs

Postby MBTA3247 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:35 pm

What's the Eurostile font? Does somebody have a picture?
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
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Re: "Generic" MBTA signs

Postby Type7trolley » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:05 am

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Re: "Generic" MBTA signs

Postby Arborway » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:16 am

MBTA3247 wrote:What's the Eurostile font? Does somebody have a picture?


Click here <---sense of humor required!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurostile
Last edited by sery2831 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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