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:


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