For its latest SPRZ NY collection, the brand took inspiration from the NYCTA Graphics Standards Manual
Subway nerdiness and fashion finally intersect with Uniqlo’s latest line of SPRZ NY tees, which were inspired by the holiest of holy tomes about the New York City transit system: The New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual, created in 1970 by the late, great Massimo Vignelli and fellow designer Bob Noorda.
The line of T-shirts, produced in collaboration with MoMA, is called “The Subway and the City,” and features six tees emblazoned with some of the best-known elements from the Graphics Standards Manual. One shirt is devoted solely to directional signs; another features the color-coded, circular signage that denotes different subway lines. (And of course, everything features the Helvetica font that’s still a part of subway signage to this day.)
There’s also one devoted just to Vignelli’s famed (and, at the time, controversial) subway map, which was introduced in 1972 and quickly sparked outrage and confusion among many New Yorkers. But hindsight is 20/20, and now people recognize the map for the orderly, beautiful design that it is—enough so that it’s on coffee cups, phone cases, and now T-shirts.
The collection is available on Uniqlo’s website, with shirts (available in men’s sizes only, alas) starting at $14.90.