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Metro Sign Designer Says Stations Are 'Cluttered'

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By Kate Sheehy

The man who helped create the look of Washington's subway system says Metro stations are now 'cluttered' with too many signs displaying station information.

The brown pylons with the station names down the side? Those are the brainchild of Massimo Vignelli. They were designed to mark the more than 100-mile system and its 86 stops which opened in 1976. Vignelli also helped design New York's subway map.

At the time, Vignelli himself received criticism over his signs; customers complained about having to tilt their head sideways to read the names on the brown columns. This lead Metro to put up more signs, reading left to right.

Vignelli says those signs need to be taken down because they interfere with the architecture. He voiced his concerns to a panel at Metro headquarters over the weekend.

Vignelli says the stations now suffer from sign "pollution," and that the extra markers should be taken down.


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