Video: Making Vitreous Enamel Wayfinding Signage

As an aside to the last post about the 1983 Chicago CTA map, Dennis also sent along this fun little “How It’s Made” video about the process used to create signs such as this.

In the case of the CTA signs, the background blue would be the second layer applied to the steel signboard, and white and black would be the two screen printed colours that are then fired and fused permanently to the backing. It’s a time- and labour-intensive way of making signs (largely replaced by full-colour digital printing today) but it’s absolutely fascinating to see the process involved.

Single Journey Ticket Issuing Machine, Hong Kong

I’m loving how the Hong Kong MTR map (April 2012, 4 stars) has been integrated into the ticket-purchasing process. It’s as easy as selecting the station you’re travelling to on the screen, inserting money, and getting your ticket: Ticketing and route information all in one!

(Source: wunelle/Flickr)

Los Angeles Rail Maps

Great photo showing how the LA Metro maps are part of a larger, unified, wayfinding system. Consistency of typography and brand are key — note how the titles of each map are in the same location and typeface every time, as is the Metro logo: colour is the main differentiator of information.

(Source: yreese/Flickr)



Barcelona Metro


Barcelona Metro 2


Beijing Subway


Berlin S-Bahn


Berlin U-Bahn


Boston ‘The T’


Brussels Metro


Copenhagen Metro


Hong Kong MTR


Montreal Metro


Moscow Metro


New York City Subway


Paris Metro


Rotterdam Metro


Shanghai Metro


Saint Petersburg Metro


Stockholm Metro


Tokyo Metro


London Underground

Here’s a site which I sourced a few of the pictures. There’s some good info on it too.

Definitely related to my usual topic of discussion, and a huge part of wayfinding and corporate identity for each Metro system. Notice how instantly recognisable many of these logos are? See also this previous post regarding Metro logos from May 2012.

Barcelona Wayfinding

Not only is this an awesome picture, but it really shows off how the Barcelona Metro map is part of a greater, unified, wayfinding scheme. Here, on one panel, we’ve got a nice big map, information about the Metro, a complete cross-referenced list of stations, and a local area map showing the transportation options around the current station. Wonderful stuff.

(Source: albertmiralles/Flickr)

Osaka Subway Map, Area Map and Wayfinding System

Nice big maps, and clear (but maybe a little dull) directional signage. A full review of that system map looks to be in order in the near future… 

(Source: Ian YVR/Flickr)

Porto Metro Signage

Looks quite lovely in location… although perhaps a little small to be seen from far away.

(Source: varlamov/Flickr)

Turn on the Bright Lights…

Still in Tokyo, but can I just say how much I adore this wayfinding system? Bright and attractive floor-to-ceiling illuminated signs with simple, easy-to-understand iconography and impossible to miss directional arrows (note how they’re located above head height, so they’re always visible, even in a crowd). And there’s a nice big locality map, too! Stuff like this makes a transit system fun and pleasant to use, but its worth often seems to be underestimated.

(Source: librarymook/Flickr)

The Colors of Public Transit

Love, love, love this photo of wayfinding signage in Chicago. Anyone know which station this is? I’m guessing one of the Wabash stations on the Loop, but don’t know enough about them to narrow it down further.

Edit: Knowledgeable readers have identified this sign as being at Clark/Lake station - thanks!

(Source: k.james/Flickr)

U2 - U5 - U8

Lovely set of wayfinding strip maps from Berlin. The current station, Alexanderplatz, is subtly highlighted with a grey box behind its name. I really like the way that station names are all to the right of each line, with connections shown to the left - an excellent and consistent division of information to make wayfinding easier.

(Source: manganite/Flickr)