Monday, April 5, 2010

CFLs and Minute Rice

The iconography of the NYC subway system is often imitated or referenced in design and advertising found throughout the city, especially campaigns meant specifically for the subway. Sometimes it works, other times not so much.

Awkward overlapping headline typography aside, the drawing of the light bulb as the subway map is quite nice, and properly utilizes the vernacular of the existing map design.

I’ve read far worse headlines than this, but instead of letting the writing carry the weight, they add in a half-hearted subway motif that feels entirely wrong, and also looks pretty ugly. The rice may only take a minute, but the sh*ttiness stays with you for a lifetime (or maybe like an hour or two).


  1. that bottom one looks more like Chicago's CTA map style than NYC's (which I've always found less appealing, coincidentally).

  2. I agree with Dan, although my first thought was that it looked more like the Boston Commuter Rail. Either way, ew.

  3. Until you explained it, I had no clue what that second ad was for. It still confuses me. Horrible. I totally agree.

    The CFL ad might be ugly in some ways, but the message is clearly delivered and the design is clever.

  4. Also, the Minute Rice subway "lines"? In the Dunkin Donuts colors.

    Worse though, is the Minute Brown Rice subway spot that's basically a long brown smeary streak... supposed to make the rice bowl microwave thing look like it's "speeding by", but, of course, really reminds you of other, far less appetizing things.

  5. I know I'm responding to an old post, but the second type of advert is endemic on the London Underground and it has been causing me to die a little every day for the last 12 years.

    Every time I see one I want to punch the designer so very, very hard.