The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is starting to gradually roll out its new signage in métro stations. The project is intended to help transit users find their way more efficiently and to promote universal access by adhering to the industry’s best practices.
Montréal, October 2, 2015 - The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is starting to gradually roll out its new signage in métro stations. The project is intended to help transit users find their way more efficiently and to promote universal access by adhering to the industry’s best practices.
Signage refers to a « group of visual indications and information elements that, together, serve to help find one’s direction in a given location along with what one is looking for ».
This new signage allows the STM to offer a better quality of information to customers, thereby helping them make decisions more easily while they are on the move, by presenting correct information, at the right time and in the most appropriate format. By promoting more efficient and fluid travel, the STM hopes to contribute to the quality of the customer experience.
The project consists in replacing or adding elements of signage, such as directional signs, maps and backlit panels, which require electrical engineering, architectural and refurbish work.
The STM obtained professional advice from graphic and industrial design experts and consultants to integrate the industry’s best practices, while taking its inspiration from similar projects undertaken by other transit authorities, including the RATP in Paris, TFL in London and the TTC in Toronto. The STM also worked closely with disabled community representatives, working on behalf of persons with functional limitations, to reach an optimal solution that would make transit use more efficient and meet customer needs, whether a person is a frequent transit user, a tourist, blind or visually-impaired, or with intellectual disabilities.
The STM chose the following guiding principles to keep its work on track:
- Improve the information’s legibility, visibility, structure and coherence
- Make signage adaptable to existing environment and evolving needs
- Ensure consistency in communication for decision-making
- Improve directions to individual exits so customers can easily find the one they want
- Highlight route taken by users and accessible installations
Transit customers will notice several changes, including the use of a new typography (character font), FF Transit, to make information easier to read. Specifically designed for signage, the new font is reminiscent of the one currently used, Univers. A new distinction is introduced in the way the information is displayed: a white background is used for services and aboveground destinations, like streets and bus lines, while a black background was kept for all destinations reached by métro. The play of colours serve to maximize contrast, while the use of uppercase and lowercase letters help improve legibility. New letter-coding is introduced in stations with multiple exits for easier orientation. The métro system map content was also updated, while complying with legibility, clarity and contrast criteria.
In consideration of the métro’s heritage, the font used when the métro first opened and which has remained unchanged since, Univers 57, will still be used for station identifiers along train platforms and above station entrance doors.
To maximize savings while minimizing the impact on customers on the move, the new signage will be deployed in stations gradually, when major refurbish or expansion work is performed, as well as in any new station, should a métro line be extended. For the initial phase of the project, 17 stations were chosen and roll-out of the new signage should be completed by 2017.
Customers can discover some of the new signage components at Beaubien station, where major renovations took place over the summer.