MBTA Wayfinding Program (signage)

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MBTA Wayfinding Program (signage)

Postby djimpact1 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:06 pm

There seemingly hasn't been much mention of/attention given to the MBTA's Wayfinding Improvement program, so this thread is designed to share any opinions/news related to this. The program is designed to bring a huge overhaul to the presentation of familiar signage we've been accustomed to since the 1966 Cambridge Seven (C7A) design standards were established (& hardly altered). The primary function of this program is for accessibility improvements. The program is being handled by Bertaux+Iwerks Architects.

The first station that has shown this undertaking is Science Park, as evident by the 2009-era modernization. See the attached photo (not mine) for reference. There is also evidence of this transition at the Downtown Crossing headhouse right outside of the "Filene's hole", as well as on sketches of the Government Center Station overhaul project.

According to the most recent Capital Investment Program documents, the MBTA plans to spend $15+million between 2014 - 2018, with most spending ($14+million) occurring in 2017 & 2018. Though utilizing similar design elements, I suppose we should start to say "goodbye" to our familiar 40+ year design standard over the next few years. Thoughts or opinions?

Wayfinding1.jpg
Science Park/1st station with new wayfinding design
Attachments
Wayfinding 3.jpg
Draft designs by B+I
Wayfinding2.jpg
South Station exterior/draft design by B+I
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Re: MBTA Wayfinding Program (signage)

Postby highgreen215 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:59 pm

PLEASE, PLEASE don't scrap those beautiful old railroad photographs.
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Re: MBTA Wayfinding Program (signage)

Postby RailBus63 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:53 pm

I like the improvements, but it will fall apart over time if the MBTA once again neglects to update its maps and route-specific signage.
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Re: MBTA Wayfinding Program (signage)

Postby CRail » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:30 pm

It doesn't make any sense to take all of the color out of the station signs only to indicate the color in a respectively colored oval beneath it. A lot of thought (a LOT) was put into all of this stuff in the 60s and the system they came up with was very good. If they just stuck to that they wouldn't be having any of these issues. They'll come up with a new standard 7 times before this one's completely in place. Every time some "innovative" 20-something who just learned how to work a graphic design program in art school comes in they want to reinvent the wheel. Enough already!
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Re: MBTA Wayfinding Program (signage)

Postby BigUglyCat » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:40 pm

CRail wrote:It doesn't make any sense to take all of the color out of the station signs only to indicate the color in a respectively colored oval beneath it. A lot of thought (a LOT) was put into all of this stuff in the 60s and the system they came up with was very good. If they just stuck to that they wouldn't be having any of these issues. They'll come up with a new standard 7 times before this one's completely in place. Every time some "innovative" 20-something who just learned how to work a graphic design program in art school comes in they want to reinvent the wheel. Enough already!

CRail sounds like a mean old man. I know this because I am President of the Mean Old Man Club. :wink:
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Re: MBTA Wayfinding Program (signage)

Postby jwhite07 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:49 pm

CRail's got a point, though. Why try to fix something that isn't broken, and in fact works much better than what is being proposed?
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Re: MBTA Wayfinding Program (signage)

Postby BigUglyCat » Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:10 pm

jwhite07 wrote:CRail's got a point, though. Why try to fix something that isn't broken, and in fact works much better than what is being proposed?

I agree 100 %. Perhaps I was too "cute" above (something new for me). :-D
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Re: MBTA Wayfinding Program (signage)

Postby Type7trolley » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:16 pm

Looking at the second picture especially it looks more cluttered and confusing. Isn't simplicity the main point of the '60s overhaul? All of their recent "improvements" have just been tacking things on... this seems to be an extension of that.
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Re: MBTA Wayfinding Program (signage)

Postby CRail » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:33 am

BigUglyCat wrote:CRail sounds like a mean old man...

Haha, you'd never guess that I'm just another one of those 20-somethings :wink:
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Re: MBTA Wayfinding Program (signage)

Postby sery2831 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:46 am

jwhite07 wrote:CRail's got a point, though. Why try to fix something that isn't broken, and in fact works much better than what is being proposed?


I agree 100%. And like anything some stations will get the signage and some will not. They will skip over stations that they 'plan to' do work in the 'near future.'
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Re: MBTA Wayfinding Program (signage)

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:00 pm

CRail wrote:
BigUglyCat wrote:CRail sounds like a mean old man...

Haha, you'd never guess that I'm just another one of those 20-somethings :wink:


As another one of those 20-somethings I'm also wholeheartedly behind keeping the old Cambridge Seven designs. That design job was every bit as iconic and well thought-out as the classic London Underground map/signage redesign from the same era. Every "redesign" the T has proposed just becomes more and more cluttered while gaining in nothing in terms of new functionality.

The old signage isn't just better-looking, it is actually much easier to read and quickly understand. The aesthetics are a reflection of how elegantly it functions, as they should be. London seems to understand that their map and signage system is a design icon, and they've kept it largely intact as a result. There's absolutely no reason why the T can't and shouldn't do the same.
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Re: MBTA Wayfinding Program (signage)

Postby ST214 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:55 pm

The MBTA is flat broke and they are going to spend 15 MILLION on new signs that are(compared to current signs) cluttered and confusing to folks not used to the system?

THE CURRENT SIGNAGE WORKS FINE......LEAVE IT ALONE!!!!!

Why not spend the 15 million on something more useful like refurbishing equipment or adding service?
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Re: MBTA Wayfinding Program (signage)

Postby millerm277 » Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:32 am

ST214 wrote:The MBTA is flat broke and they are going to spend 15 MILLION on new signs that are(compared to current signs) cluttered and confusing to folks not used to the system?

THE CURRENT SIGNAGE WORKS FINE......LEAVE IT ALONE!!!!!

Why not spend the 15 million on something more useful like refurbishing equipment or adding service?


I'd just rather see new signs in the same existing scheme produced, it works well and is far quicker to process as a passenger than these signs are.

There's no denying that that many of the maps in stations and on trains are currently works of fiction or "band-aided". There's still maps with the E to Arborway "temporarily suspended", the closed B line stations just crossed out, etc.
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Re: MBTA Wayfinding Program (signage)

Postby merrick1 » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:06 am

Would paper maps behind clear plastic like NYCTA uses be a better idea? Those enameled metal maps have to be expensive to replace.
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Re: MBTA Wayfinding Program (signage)

Postby SM89 » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:25 am

merrick1 wrote:Would paper maps behind clear plastic like NYCTA uses be a better idea? Those enameled metal maps have to be expensive to replace.

They already do this for new maps
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