"The passenger will be given the information or direction only at the point of decision. Never before. Never after," reads the introduction to the New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual. We might not think that much about subway signs when we hurry through the station, but we owe them a lot. When you are whisked away by the crowd to make a speedy subway transfer, much thanks goes to the "Uptown" sign.
Niko Skourtis, Jesse Reed, Hamish Smyth have created an online archive of the original 1970s NYCTA Graphics Standards Manual, designed by Massimo Vignelli of Unimark International. According to their website, the forgotten manual was found in a gym locker under clothes. Now they have brought all 182 pages to light online.
Do you know the exact color green used for 6-train or how tall the "B" in "Broadway" should be? It's incredible how much we take transit directions for granted when we would be literally lost without them. Take a look at our slideshow below, and you will never look at a "Downtown" sign the same way.