The TTC has a long history of abusing users with haphazard signage, but for a second in the early 90’s the TTC seemed to care and wayfinding expert Paul Arthur was hired to make sense of the mess. Arthur’s new signage aimed to be easily understood by everyone including kids, the visually impaired, and the illiterate. It worked rather well in fact, which is probably why the TTC, famous for it’s lack of design sense, functional or otherwise, quietly buried the project.
Today you can see the remnants of Arthur’s system at St. George station decaying and mostly forgotten.
Recently, I’ve wondered what could have been of this system and what each stations pictograph would be. As I understand it only St. George, Spadina, and Bay were designed. Bay being waves, Spadina an Indian Chief, and St. George a dragon. But what would have been used to represent Union Station or Wilson station?
So I thought I’d put it to you, I’ve created a template which you can download and design your own interpretation of each station. Then, upload it to Flickr tag it with “TTCSignage” and post a link to it in the comments here.
The pictographs can be derived from a number of avenues. Arthur suggested using rhyme (Chester = Jester), geographical or nearby attraction (High Park = Tree), historical references (Kipling = Quill), or the origin of the word (Spadina = Aboriginal).
It should be interesting to see what stations conjure the same ideas, and which ones differ wildly.