Saturday, October 20, 2007

NYC Cab Graphics

So, New York's taxis are getting a new livery

The new design seems a bit lack-luster to me, so in the spirit of - "And You Think You Can Do Better?" I played around with some ideas:

I'm all about continuity here. Or at least in designs one and two. Taxis have been a ubiquitous part of the New York City scape literally for centuries. They have always had an in your face look that shouldn't be lost, and in keeping it helps to refer to that history.

The typeface used for the word "TAXI" is Square Slabserif 711, by Geoge Trump (1990), sliced and diced into a stencil, to be reminiscent of the home made look of the painted-with-a-can-of-black-spray-paint-and-a-stencil livery of the recent past. I chose it because it is robust and thoroughly no-nonsense.

The checkers are the new NYC logo. In keeping with the Wolff Olins flexible banding philosophy I've reduced it to a colour, and made black squares out of it. It has been pointed out (repeatedly) that since they are New York City taxis, in New York City, there is no need to reiterated that fact with a big bold city logo. Save that for smaller cities that aren't so sure of themselves. Therefore, In my designs, the new logo's presence on the cab is just another part of their long history.

In design number 3, I've dropped the city logo altogether, and just used with the word TAXI scaled up to more than fill the available space. It's a yellow car with a light on the roof. Of course it's a taxi. You don't need to be able to read something on the car to tell you that. But just in case you do need to distinguish it from a non-cab Crown Vic that happens to be yellow, how about a big bold design?

The vehicle fleet numbers and the fare information are set in James Montalbano's ClearviewHwy 5B, because it's a good functional typeface for the purpose. The fleet numbers are for operational purposes, and should therefore be plainly visible and highly legible to help the people who need to reference that number, which may be in a dimly lit garage among dozens of identical cars, or at 5:00 in the morning, before a second cup of coffee. The fare information obviously should be easy to read for the convenience of passengers and efficiency of service. And, I like it.

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