8. Helvetica Did Not Become MTA’s Official Font Until More Than a Decade After Vignelli’s Graphics Standard Manual was Published


Helvetica did not become the official typeface for the New York City subway system signage until December 1989 – more than a decade after Vignelli’s first graphics standard manual was published. MTA’s Marketing & Corporate Communications Division hired Michael Hertz Associates to update the manual. The goal to update the manual was to unify all of MTA’s constituent agencies, including the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Commuter Railroad. From then on, Helvetica Medium has become the standard typeface for the entire MTA transportation system, which MTA passengers still see them everyday.