Joe Clark: Accessibility | Design | Writing

Speaking notes for ‘Inscribed in the Living Tile: Type in the Toronto Subway’

Speaking notes from a presentation I gave on 2007.09.12 at ATypI Brighton 2007. See also:

A word about images

I worked like a dog all summer on this project. Images for this page are broken and I cannot justify the time commitment to fix them. You have more than ample opportunity to view the images elsewhere.


I have an big interest in functional typography. I’m not saying anything about other forms of typography, so don’t go off the deep end and make any assumptions, but what I’m really interested in is making the uses of typography that should be functional actually functional. Things like captioning and subtitling, and of course public signage.

What we’re here to discuss today

About the subway

And they did try to fix it

My presentations

Then there was the Sheppard subway


Type in the Toronto subway is a story of just how much of a mess you can make without adult supervision. They started out with something nobody else had and then, through a combination of ignorance and bad taste, they spent 50 years destroying it.

Photo credits

Some photos by David Topping, Luke Tymowski, or Craig James White, used by permission or in accordance with Creative Commons licensing.

Posted: 2007.09.18

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