16 September 2016

[pdx] TriMet's Graphic Design Throwback T-Shirts

This in over the transom:

It will be recalled that, from the mid-70s,
for about three decades, TriMet made navigating its innumerable routes a bit easier by slicing the Portland area into seven color-and-symbol-coded service sectors: Red Fish (NW and N), Purple Raindrop (NE), Blue Snowflake (NE and E), Brown Beaver (E and SE), Green Leaf (SE and SW), Yellow Rose (SW) and Red Deer (NW and SW). The Brown Beaver can be seen below and to the left in larger size; the simple design of the icons meant that if you going to a certain part of town, all you had to do was find the right color/symbol to guide you to the right handful of routes. I loved this system. It had a flair and a certain Portlandesque panache that was hard to put into words.

Well, times change and so did TriMet; by the middle of the aughts, the system was beginning to evolve away from the hub-and-spoke rationale which made pie-sliced sectors a natural thing, and the multiplicity of rail lines moving through the Portland Transit Mall called for a re-think and a different approach, which works a bit better today if it's a rather characterless.

For those of you (such as me) who fondly remember the old system and don't agree that it was dated, there is a way to fondly remember to others: Throwback gear from TriMet. The seven classic sector symbols are available on t-shirts (such as the one pictured at right) and caps: shirts run in the $16.99 range an the caps run a bit less.

The address for the shirts is http://www.cafepress.com/trimet/10216648, then just select a symbol, shirt or cap, and proceed to check out.

The TriMet gear front page, which includes more than just throwback shirts, is at http://www.cafepress.com/trimet.

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