A history of New York public transport in 400 objects

By Patrick Burgoyne

After the success of their NYCTA Graphics Standards Manual reissue, designers Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth left their jobs at Pentagram to set up their own publishing imprint and bookstore under the Standards Manual name, as well as a design studio, Order.




Their latest release, created with photographer Brian Kelley, documents over 400 objects relating to the New York City Transit Authority. The objects were sourced by Kelley, who has been collecting MTA Metrocards ( the equivalent of TFL Travelcards) since 2011.




From Metrocards, Kelley progressed to other transit-related artefacts (some dating back to the 19th century), which he began to photograph and share via his @the_nycta_project Instagram account. His collection now extends to over 2,000 pieces, including maps, tokens, tickets, uniforms, patches, and ephemera such as matchbooks and brochures.

Highlights from the collection are presented in the book, over 356 pages.

New York City Transit Authority: Objects, published by Standards Manual ($49), is available via standardsmanual.com and distributed in the UK by Thames & Hudson









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