segunda-feira, 15 de fevereiro de 2010

Left or right?

I’ve already written about how bad is the signage system in Rio’s subway, the Metro. Not only it’s cluttered with advertising – seems like they want to place an advertising in each sign, no matter if it will make the sign less clear – but also it’s a mixture of many different previous signage systems, each one of them using different typographic concepts and solutions. Obviously, this mixture make the whole system even more confusing, like many different voices were trying to talk to us at the same time, with different accents and voice tones.

I don’t take the subway very often, but every time I do it, I find something that gives me chills on the spine. One of these days I saw a map that was placed above the stairs, in such a way that it was impossible to read anything. The map was in the wrong scale, making it hard to read anything from a certain distance, and placed in the worst location one could imagine. The only way you could read something was being in the middle of the staircase, looking up, like if you were asking heaven for some guidance. I should take a picture of that sometime…

The last time I took to the Metro I saw this sign (see photo bellow), pointing to the exits.

metro sign
Rio’s Metro sign system, at Carioca station. The sign at the left points to the right, and the sign on the right points to the left. And, believe it or not, the upper text in the right corner of each sign is “Exit”. Can you read anything at this scale?

The “beauty” of this is that the sign on the left side is pointing to the exits that are on the right, and the sign on the right side is pointing to the exits that are on the left. I was totally confused when I was leaving the Metro. My natural reaction to any sign like this is to think that the information displayed on the left would be related the exits and pathways on the same direction. I was expecting to read the information about “Av. Chile” exit on the right side, and was almost leaving when noticed that the sign on right side was pointing to the exits that I knew were on the other way. That made me completely confused, so I had to stop and read everything carefully. I barely noticed that the arrow was pointing to the other direction. I finally realized that the exits hadn’t changed places, and that the signage was crazy, not me.

I’m not even complaining about the bad typographic solution (wrong scale, bad use of the space, advertising spots side by side with the signage). This is already as bad as it can be…I have to come close to the signs to read them, what is a bad thing for a signage system that should help you make decisions quickly, considering that you may be in a hurry and don’t want to waste your time.

Am I too picky, or this signage is as bad as I think it is? Drives me crazy to know that the Metro has many (so called) designers working on its signage system.

1 comentário

1 comentário

  1. Para lá ↔

    Ricardo Esteves
    domingo, 4 de abril de 2010

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