Type in Transit/Comparing the Metro Sans Designs

In this second installment of Type in Transit, I present to you the ubiquitous message of the Delhi Metro. From the first generation coaches to the second, the message transformed from Stand clear off the doors to Stand away from the doors, and the colors went from red to green, but those are not the only things that have changed!

Interesting how punctuation has disappeared, and from a first look the uppercase ‘S’ and lowercase ‘f’ definitely look like a downgrade from the first design to the second. Here are both designs overlaid to give you a preview of the difference between the designs, and following that a short summary.


Unicase Characters
While you can only see one of them in this sample from the second coach (henceforth called Metro Sans II), this design is full of unicase letters. To be fair, I think the sample from the first (Metro Sans I) would have some too, if it needed letters with descenders; it does not have enough space at the bottom either.

Letter Height
The next difference – Letters from Metro Sans I are a maximum of eleven units tall, and those from Metro Sans II are only ten units tall. That said, the lowercase letters maintain the same height of seven units.

Squarish v/s Rounded
While Metro Sans I is more comfortable in its grid-based skin and has fairly squarish shapes, Metro Sans II makes an attempt to be more rounded. The only exception to this rule so far is the lowercase ‘t’.


That is all for today! You can find the introduction of this multi-part series on LED type in Delhi’s public transport system here. Also, you must check out Pratul‘s photographs of more Type in Transit here. I’m hoping I can make Type in Transit a weekly feature on the blog, and that means I will soon have to find an excuse to travel in the Violet Line of the Metro to get hold of some images/sketches of the slab serif design!


Comments 9

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