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METROBITS - The world's subways unearthed.METROBITS - The world's subways unearthed.



  



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Metro Fonts

Most subways use standard typefaces for their corporate identity, while others don't even care and have used a mixture of different fonts over the years. But some subway systems are stylish enough to communicate with their customers through exclusively designed typefaces for wayfinding signage and paperwork.

Page updated 6 May 2008.





CityFont NameDesignerYearSampleAvailabilityReference
AmsterdamM.O.L. Gerard Unger1974gerardunger.com
BerlinU8 Alfred Grenander architectural office1923fatype.combuchstabenmuseum.de
BerlinTransit (based on Frutiger) Erik Spiekermann, Lucas de Groot, Henning Krause1991fontshop.comtypophile.com
BrusselsBrusseline Eric de Berranger2006de-berranger.club.fr, de-berranger.club.fr (PDF)
Hong KongCasey (based on Tahoma and Frutiger) unknown designer1996i-circle.net (registration required)wikipedia.org
LisbonMetrolis Michael Barbosa, Freda Sack, David Quay1995identifont.com, typophile.com
LondonJohnston Edward Johnston1916paratype.com, p22.comTfL fonts, wikipedia.org
Mexico CityTipo Metro Lance Wyman1969haroldsfonts.com (a rough lookalike)Lance Wyman via email, hablamosjuntos.org
MunichVialog Werner Schneider, Helmut Ness2002linotype.comtypophile.com, typeforum.de
New York (tile fonts in several variations) G. C. Heins, C. G. La Farge, S. J. Vickers1901myfonts.com, myfonts.comStookey, Lee: Subway Ceramics. 1992.
NewcastleCalvert Margaret Calvert1980linotype.com, identifont.comdesignmuseum.org, wikipedia.org
ParisMetropolitain (in six variations) Hector Guimard1901myfonts.com, myfonts.com, dafont.comDescouturelle, Frédéric; et. al.: Le métropolitain d'Hector Guimard. Somogy 2003.
ParisAlphabet Métro (based on Univers) Adrian Frutiger1973stbride.org
ParisParisine Jean François Porchez1996typofonderie.com, myfonts.comstbride.org, creativepro.com, typofonderie.com
PragueMetron 1Jiri Rathousky1974magtypo.cz, fonts-online.com
RotterdamRET 2Henk van Leyden1984Henk van Leyden via email
SeoulKorail/ unknown designerca. 2003asiafont.comtypophile.com
SingaporeLTA Identity Typeface Hubert Jocham198?Hubert Jocham via email; LTAFont.PDF
TorontoToronto Subway unknown designer1954quadrat.com, fontpool.composlfit.com, flickr.com, joeclark.org



1 Metron in Prague was replaced by Helvetica in 1985. Remains only in metal lettering of station names.
2 RET in Rotterdam has been officially replaced by a standard font after a few years when a signage upgrade required a digitized font. Signs using RET remained only in a few places.





Reference

Berry, John D.: Underground Typography. 23 March 2001: creativepro.com.

Clark, Joe: Inscribed in the Living Tile: Type in the Toronto Subway. Presented at the ATypI 2007 conference.

Cleary, Ed; Jürgen Siebert; Erik Spiekermann: Font Book. Digital Typeface Compendium. Volume 1+2. FontShop International 1995.

Designerstalk.com discussion about subway fonts.

Eason, Ron; Sarah Rookledge: Rookledge's International Handbook of Type Designers. Sarema Press 1991.

Subway fonts. myfonts.com.

Typophile.com discussion about subway fonts.

WhatTheFont. myfonts.com. Font indentifier and forum.






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