New BART signs: Easier to read, kinda ’80s-looking

new bart font

BART’s new signage started popping up at Civic Center Station a couple of weeks ago. Have you seen it? The new signs larger and easier to read, but the font looks a little ’80s to typography geeks. Do you agree?

In the photo above from BART.gov, the sign on the top is the old version which is still in use in many stations. The font on the new sign, below its predecessor, is a slightly different color and larger—actually, 38 percent larger than the old signs, according to BART.

BART also says the old signs were installed in 2000 and the bulbs were starting to break, and that the new signs have a higher resolution and higher contrast. In the next three to four months, BART will add the new signage to Powell, Montgomery, and Embarcadero Stations.

Here’s what BART signs, which used good old cathode ray tube technology (like that TV your parents still have in the basement), looked like in 1972:
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Photo by Leroy Demery Jr

The font on the new sign, though, caused some agitation for at least one two typography-inclined riders:

If kerning holds a special place in your heart, these signs might give you heartburn, but at least we can read them? Now if only BART can leave the arrival time signs up until the train comes …

 

3 comments

  • Avi

    BART’s present scroll of useless information is infuriating, I wish they’d focus on showing arrival times and leave out the extra garbage. I’d be into an abbreviated short hand, like “Pt. 9” to mean “Pittsburgh train arriving in 9 minutes” with its own dedicated set of pixles on one side of the sign to just show the next few trains instead of the useless safty tips and sports ball nonsense (especially if they keep showing the extra garbage) so riders can easily use them for their literal one job of finding out when the next trains are coming.

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