3. The NYCTA First Hired Unimark in 1966 to Advise it on Signage, but the Proposal was Barely Implemented

In 1966, NYCTA first hired Unimark International – an international design consultancy established by Massimo Vignelli, to advise it on signage and map conventions. The firm was recommended by associate curator in the department of architecture and design at MoMA. Vignelli and Bob Noorda- another founding partner of Unimark, were expected to deliver a report in the short span of four months, and despite the designers’ effort in prototyping sign mockups and creating presentation boards, the proposal was merely “thanked and, apparently, forgotten.” To Vignelli’s surprise, NYCTA fabricated a series of signs using its in-house shop, and carried out Unimark’s proposal without the designers’ instruction and inspection.” In Vignelli’s words, it was “the biggest mess in the world.”