More Metro Bashing

This time it’s the system’s sign designer

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    NEWSLETTERS

    flickr.com/garyisajoke
    Cleveland Park metro station

    Newsflash! Someone is criticizing Metro! But it’s not over their safety record, the lack of public restrooms or the fact that station employees are feeding wild animals. It’s over the signs hanging in Metro stations. And considering it’s the designer of Metro’s signage that’s doing the criticizing, they may want to listen.

    Massimo Vignelli spoke Saturday night at Metro headquarters about his design of Metrorail’s system of signs. And he’s not happy with the direction they are headed in.

    Vignelli designed the brown pylon signs that are staples at each of the systems 86 stops. The pylon form of signage was meant to keep the walls from becoming cluttered with advertisements or directional décor that took away from the architecture of the stations.

    Now Vignelli says that Metro has added too much signage to the walls, calling it sign “pollution.”

    "Get rid of it," Vignelli said. "Signage should be kept to a minimum ... but be there when you need it."

    The pylons are more than just signs. They also contain air ducts and station lighting. But they have gotten some criticism themselves.

    Originally the pylons displayed just the station name and did so sideways, like the title of a book would look when written on the spine. People said they were hard to read and newspapers poked fun at people having to turn their heads sideways to read to pylons.

    Apparently this hurt Metro’s feelings and they began to put signs on the walls. But even your sign designer turning against you? It could be more dark days ahead for Metro.


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