TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Mon May 22 14:44:00 EDT 2017






Joe Clark: Type in the Toronto subway [Joe Clark]

Joe Clark tells us about the typeface used in the Toronto subway: The Toronto subway has a typeface all its own. You can compare it to a few other fonts, but no other typeface is exactly the same. And, for 50 years, pretty much the only place you found it was on permanent, virtually indestructible wall signage. The typeface, in its original form, is a geometric sansserif in upper case only, with ten numerals, ampersand, period, and apostrophe, and an arrow (though a few other arrows are found on period signage). The typeface is often misidentified at Gill Sans, a typeface that will later become important in TTC typographic history. Even highly expert designers have misidentified the typeface as Gill. Vaguely comparable typefaces are Verlag, Bernhard Gothic, Metro, Neutraface, and Eagle. [...] By all accounts, no one alive today knows who designed the Toronto subway typeface. The original drawings (TTC 1960) do not credit an artist. (Since the drawings are dated 1960.12.12, they were drawn after the first installation of letters on a subway wall. That makes the absence of credit even more surprising; it may mean the designer had already been forgotten six years after the subway opened.) The subway typeface does not have a name, although the TTC claims (2007a) it is known internally as the Station font. That name has not taken root with transit fans outside the TTC. No stable name for the typeface in common use apart from "the TTC font."

Joe Clark: Type in the Toronto subway
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The Canadian type scene ⦿ Typography ⦿ Map/Travel dingbats ⦿ Signage typefaces ⦿ Typefaces with arrows ⦿

file name: T T C Toronto Transit Commission Font A B C

file name: T T C Toronto Transit Commission Font L M N

file name: T T C Toronto Transit Commission Font U V W

Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html