Congrats! You blew the lid off your 800% funded Kickstarter project, followed through on your promise to reissue Massimo Vignelli’s 1970 NYC Transit Authority Manual that you found under a pile of gym clothes in the basement of Pentagram (you lucky bastard), and have officially made a major contribution to our collective design history. Now, how do you follow that up?
If you’re Hamish Smyth (Pentagram designer and basement archaeologist) and crowdfunding wunderkind Alex Daly, you become deeply obsessed with Vignelli’s MTA signage, painstakingly draw all 468 subway station signs by hand, and print them in alphabetical order on a big lovely poster that hangs in your apartment and everyone compliments. But being Smyth and Daly, you don’t stop there. You’ve got this Kickstarter thing down, so you get the MTA’s blessing and create a limited-edition run of the posters in 11 Pantone colors, print them up in Italy, and make them available only via Kickstarter.
While the Transit Authority Manual is a must-have for designers and design super-geeks, the NYC subway station poster is an essential for anyone who a) loves design, b) lives in New York, or c) rides the subway, which is pretty much everyone I know. But as Daly points out, this poster is about more than just creating some eye-catching wall art. “Through crowdfunding items like the Standards Manual and this limited-edition subway poster, Hamish and I are hoping to create a model of preserving design history. This model creates a democratic way of getting important design artifacts—from design bibles to everyday subway stations—into the people’s hands.” Amen.
Pledges to support the NYC Subway Station poster on Kickstarter start at $35; campaign ends Tuesday, July 21.