People with a sharp eye may have noticed that the new Tourism Toronto wordmark has a ring of familiarity. Well that’s because it was designed using the Toronto Subway font. That’s right, the Toronto Transit Commission has a font of its own.
It’s a distinctive rectangular typeface composed of capital letters etched into the tiles of the Toronto subway stations opened between 1954 and 1974. The identity of the original designer back then has been lost track of, so the font was recreated by David Vereschagin in 2004. The way Vereschagin went about recreating it is a cool story: because no documentation of the font had been kept, he decided to visit a bunch of different subway stations around Toronto to take rubbings of all the different letters from the original glass tiles. He then digitized them all to make the current typeface.
The font is still being used by the TTC for station names and a “bold” version of this font can be seen at every station along the Bloor–Danforth line from Islington to Warden. It can also be seen at various stations along the northern part of the Yonge line, the University line and on all stops and stations along the 512 St. Clair streetcar line.
When our team at Tourism Toronto was looking for a new design for its logo, using a unique, made-in-Toronto font seemed like the perfect solution.
What do you think of our new look?
Here are a few pics of the font in situ, taken by Tourism Toronto’s own Linda Lee.