Helvetica and the New York City Subway System: The True (Maybe) Story (The MIT Press) (英語) ハードカバー – 2011/2/11
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[D]esign projects are rarely tidy; they're much likelier to be muddled, chaotic, and to be determined by flukes, gaffes and compromises as much as forethought. It's always refreshing to come across an unexpurgated account of the messy reality, and the American design historian Paul Shaw has produced a particularly thoughtful and engaging example in his new book, Helvetica and the New York City Subway System.—Alice Rawsthorn, The New York Times—
Mr. Shaw makes clear in one of the best-researched books on modern design to date, this most New York of places is today a realm dominated by a Swiss typeface specified by a pair of Italian designers. There isn't better testimony to the city as a melting pot or to the strange turns that any major design project inevitably takes.—The Wall Street Journal—
|星5つ 74% (74%)||74%|
|星4つ 12% (12%)||12%|
|星3つ 0% (0%)||0%|
|星2つ 8% (8%)||8%|
|星1つ 6% (6%)||6%|
And being a fan of the NYC Subway system, and seeing its usage with its history made for a very enjoyable book.
Paul Shaw has forsaken the "healing tool" in favor of a look at the design process, blemishes and all. He shows us battles lost as well as won. The New York Subway system did not begin life as a well orchestrated plan that was delivered as composed with a single downbeat. There were numerous conflagrations among the many involved factions from planners, designers, local governments, businesses, and unions. What we see today on a subway platform in NYC is a semi-pealed onion revealing layers of history.
Paul makes a fine story of the toils and shows images from all facets of the century-long project still in progress. He jokingly adds "maybe" after True Story in the subtitle but we all know such a story could not be invented. The book is a combination lesson in history, sociology, commerce, and 100 year turf-wars, the stuff real design projects are made of.
My only small quibble with the book is that the layout can be a bit confusing to follow sometimes. This may be because there are so many intriguing illustrations and footnotes that you forget where you were reading. This is hardly a problem though, rereading is a pleasant task and you find things you never knew were there--kind of like repeated trips on the New York subway.
By all means, take it for a ride or two.
In a similar vein to those who study the rolling stock or expansion of the route of the NYC Subway over the years, a variety of people may find this book intriguing. People with interests in architecture, graphic design, marketing, history and/or the subway system itself should enjoy this book. It may get tedious partway through, since it tends to get bogged down in minute details. So, trust your instincts about your level of interest. As much as I love the NYC Subways, I would not buy an in-depth study of train engines and propulsion systems, since that's just not my thing. However, if signage as artwork IS your thing, you ought to get this book!