Thursday, April 26, 2012

East Village student aspires to redesign the MetroCard

Melanie Chernock, an East Village resident who is a graphic design student at SVA, recently launched a site titled The MetroCard Project. It's an ongoing project that aims to redesign the the Metrocard, which the MTA put into full usage on May 14, 1997. (Fast Company featured her work last Friday here.)

For example...

We asked her about the project.

[It] stemmed from an assignment to "create a deck of cards." I knew that I did not want to do something expected, so I immediately started to think of all the different types of cards there are. The concept of redesigning the MetroCard felt natural to me ... The card gets so much exposure and should be something thoughtfully designed. Creating the cards is an experimental process for me. I found that the first few cards I made were very conventional and as the project progressed they became more unusual. The purpose of the project is to show the many ways there are to design a better MetroCard and to promote better design within the city.

You can visit her site here.

Meanwhile, let's bring back the subway token!

Legalese: The MetroCard Project is in no way associated with the MTA. It is a school project intended only for creative purposes.


JAZ said...

I like that first one a lot

randall said...

Hell yeah. Bring back the token. But in the meantime, each of those designs is leagues better than the current incarnation of the metrocard.

Shawn said...

Dear students:

Black is hard to see at night and in a purse, bag or wallet.

Same with red - it's not even within the spectrum of optimal human vision.

It's neon yellow so you can see it. The MTA did this right.

Keep studying kids!

glamma said...

what scares me is that they are trying to make it so that you can only buy a metrocard with a credit card.
that is some serious big brother sh*t.
not to mention another covert legislative measure that seeks to criminalize poverty.

Anonymous said...

The first one is confusing with the backwards "N" (or Slavic "I").

The black one is clean, simple. The neon one has a cute retro vibe, although the more classic approach of the black one has more longevity.

Yes, bring back subway tokens! Far more aesthetic than plastic cards and one is not tracked everywhere you go.

- East Village Slav

gozer the gozarian said...

Form v. Function is that your point Mr. Chittle?

I guess you're right. Tokens can be confused with coins, but I guess since no one really carries money anyway they won't confuse tokens with change in their pockets.

Marty Wombacher said...

I like the pretzel one shown at her site. And I too miss the tokens and wish they would bring them back.

Anonymous said...

They need a BIG arrow on which way to swipe.

I don't really get confused but it'll save other people and tourists time when swiping.
And it benefits basically everyone because then you don't have to wait behind someone while they fiddle with the card.

Anonymous said...

No way will tokens return. They'd have to retrofit every turnstile in this town. And, it's anti-surveilance - that's so 90's.

esquared™ said...

I vote for VH McKenzie’s Metrocard...err...subway cards art or design

Hey19 said...

These are very cool, the token one, #3 on here is my favorite. but I agree w Shawn, the yellow color is for a reason. Some of the yellow ones on the site are cool, top middle for example.

Shawn said...

Mr./Ms. Gozer,

Did you ever use tokens? I did!

They had the centers cut out so you could easily tell them apart by feel in your pocket. Easily!

While its been a while I also don't think they had serrated edges and were smooth on the sides, I seem to remember rubbing my finger around the edges and knowing it was a token quite easy.

P.S. Want to see the most beautiful Metrocard ever? Check out what my neighbor Rives (the guy from did...

Lisa said...

All of these proposed designs are far better-looking than the current metrocard.

However, the card's purpose is not to be hung on the wall, like art. If we look at metrocards at all, it's strictly for the purpose of looking for them (rather than at them), in our wallets or bags. For this purpose, a design that's distinctively ugly is actually superior to a design that's indistinctly tasteful.