Redesign of a sign.

For this week’s assignment, we were told to keep an eye out for examples of good and bad design on signage around the city. I began looking for confusing or wordy street signs, but I quickly realized that New York City’s Department of Transportation has been remarkably comprehensive with its redesign of all the street signs. There was a lot of uniformity, especially in NYC’s subway system. Here’s an example of an ad from the MTA that educates passengers about appropriate behavior on the subway:

1I thought the MTA ad was visually eye-catching, clever, and humorous. It communicated a lot of information in a few words. The left alignment of the text makes the sign more readable. The font choice – Helvetica – is consistent with other signage in the subway system and also makes the sign readable.

As I began looking for examples of less effective signage, I turned my attention to signs advertising goods or services and I found some really interesting examples of bad design.

A truck advertising plumbing services. Although the logo isn’t terrible, the hierarchy of information on this truck makes your eye move around before you can find the important information. I don’t even know what I’m looking for. IMG_1989

An ad on the subway for educational services. The font, the spacing, the choice of photographs and clip art adds up to a really ineffective advertisement. The placement of the “E” and the “L” in “Electrical” makes little sense.IMG_1992

A corner bodega. The sign isn’t terrible, however I think the hierarchy of information could be improved. IMG_1978

I decided to re-design the last sign, which advertises a grocery store that is open 24 hours a day. The store name, Havemeyer Grocery, should be most prominent, followed by the store hours (around the clock). The store offerings aren’t as important to include on the sign. Here’s the revised sign I designed:


Principles of design.

Here’s an example of a website that I thought exhibited many of the principles of good design we discussed in class. The site was designed by Alt Group for Silo Theatre, located in New Zealand, for their 2012 season.

Here’s what the site looked like:


Grid. The site has a proportional composition, with elements organized according to a regular grid pattern.


Composition: There is a lot of negative space on the site, which eliminates some of the visual “noise” of the information presented. In terms of layout, the Silo logo is most prominent, located in the top left corner. The main menu is also easy to identify. As you scroll down, you can find more detailed information about individual productions.


Typography. The typefaces used here are clean, sans-serif fonts.


Color. The color palette on the site is very minimal. There are only three colors: black, white, and pink (hex #f3ccde). In researching Silo Theatre further, I found that every season the theater kicks off a new branding campaign with a different color. For instance, this year the site is using a palette of black, white, and yellow (hex #ead863).


Overall, I loved the site concept, the clean composition, and the simple color palette.