Is it time to redesign the TTC logo?
A story late last week in the Toronto Star noted that the TTC will be conducting a back-to-the-future update of its subway signage: the iconic 1920s logo on a stick. It’s pure, simple and elegant in comparison to the designs being eliminating. The story sent me out for a surf, which turned up this image of subway logos from around the world. These are part of a larger collection that includes logos from other Canadian cities. The site identifies them all by city, and the TTC logo is easy to spot: it’s the one whose shape makes it look smaller than all the rest, and whose letters are nearly impossible to discern.
The TTC logo is a distinctive and beloved Toronto emblem: it reflects history, shared experience and pride. But when compared to other cities’ icons, one thing it doesn’t say, especially to visitors, is “subway.” Notably, the subway logo site tries to group the icons by similarity of design. The TTC logo appears at the very end, without comparison, like the subject of the old Sesame Street riddle: “One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just does not belong!”
• New signs for the TTC: Can you tell the difference? [Toronto Star]• Variations on the letter M [Metro Bits]
6 thoughts on “Is it time to redesign the TTC logo?”
Of course, the TTC is not only subways, so its logo need not specify them particularly. And while it doesn’t “say” streetcars or buses either, the TTC logo is beautifully designed and crafted, with a distinctive shape quickly recognized by residents and tourists alike. Comparing its legibility based on relative size is a false argument, since the logos, of varying actual size, have been standardized for the site’s display.
My favourites, in order: London (pure and classic), Toronto (timeless and hip), Nagoya (clean design) and Hong Kong (practical but attractive). I love the TTC logo and would hate to see it (shudder) “redesigned.”
Back in March, I posted a version of a simplified update how I’d like to see the TTC logo: http://torontoist.com/attachments/toronto_marcl/ttc_new_logo_mockup_lostracco2.gif
It’s chunkier, less busy, less 1950s, and retains the iconic shield shape. Part of what I dislike about the current logo is that there is too much going on, it’s too wide in relation to its height, and has that totally unoriginal and ugly overlaying of letters.
Also, some other so-so modifications of that design at http://torontoist.com/attachments/toronto_marcl/ttc_new_logo_mockup_lostracco.gif
Nonsense! The logo is a symbol for the TTC, not an exercise in spelling out the letters. (And “TTC” alone isn’t all that illuminating.) Of the symbols you’ve assembled above, only about half are remotely suggestive of transit. Lucky for all of us, then, human beings – and even tourists – have a proven knack for putting two and two together.
Mind you, I didn’t really see what was wrong with the existing signage.
And the real question, of course, is: what does Joe Clark – he of http://blog.fawny.org – think?
I like it precisely because it isn’t “just like all the others”
Dear Philip Preville
I am a graphic design student and recently I have had some research about TTC logo. Unfortunately I haven’t found any information about when this logo was designed and name of the designer. Do know any source or any information which can help me?
I appreciate your time
You can choose not to believe me, but my GrandFather John Lewis created this logo before I was born. He passed away 19 years ago but I don’t remember him too much. From what I told he was a great man and a great artist and I’m glad you had interest in his work all these years later.
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