pentagram: new york city's redesigned parking signs pentagram: new york city's redesigned parking signs
jan 31, 2013

pentagram: new york city's redesigned parking signs

pentagram: new york city’s redesigned parking signs



working with the new york city department of transportation, pentagram‘s michael bierut and his team have created a new, simplified design for the city’s street parking signage that is more easily understood by drivers and residents.


the project introduces a consistent, simplified layout that cuts back on the number of words and colors and adds some much-needed white space, the design divides the signs into two sections, one for commercial vehicles (still in red), the other for passenger vehicles (in green) – with the number of parking hours allowed is prominently placed in a reversed-out box at the top left of the sign. 



new york city’s redesigned parking signs



as the existing signs were densely packed with information that was wordy and hard to follow; typography was centered and set in all caps in various fonts and sizes, making it difficult for the eye to scan.



‘no standing anytime’ sign



scale and context



before and after



design process

  • An improvement, but still some unusual decisions have been made.

    The arrow at the bottom was not very clear due to it’s form – but that’s interestingly been retained (although I note the concepts show some much clearer arrow forms).

    Also the ‘hour metered parking’ text looks very small given the height of these signs from the pavement – and in isolation the ‘3’ or ‘1’ message is rather without context and could be misunderstood.

    Finally the use of all caps is recognised as being much less accessible than sentance case, so it was unusual to see it used and think there could have been better ways (than the use of caps) to reinforce the prohibitive messages….

    Ghostieman says:
  • Huge improvement, Pentagram. Please throw in a “No Honking—$350 Penalty” in case the city changes its mind about eliminating them.

    Mort D'Urban says:
  • This appears to be what we have been using in California for years, if not for a couple of decades, and it can still be a bit confusing.
    Still, it is nice to see that someone is trying to make things a bit more clear; especially when we might be in a hurry to get to an appointment.

    Ron Smith says:
  • That’s what the City of New york is spending all that money on. The guy with the suit making $90,000 to keep thinking how to make the sings “different”

    Lin Frank says:

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