A Caveat or Two
To date, Van Hall has created twelve digital replicas duplicating those found on the representative sites. The type fonts consist of complete alphabet of capitals, punctuation, and some representative dingbats or decorative glyphs found on the signage. To see a discussion of the type styles found on the mosaic signage, <click here>
The completed signage so far: click below to see larger images and a sample of the type found on each signage style:
23rd Street - IRT Seventh Avenue Line
51st Street - IRT Lexington Avenue Line
86th Street - IRT Lexington Avenue Line
116th Street - IRT Lexington Ave Line
Borough Hall - IRT Seventh Avenue Line
Christopher St./Sheridan Square, IRT 7th Ave Line
Cortlandt Street - BMT Broadway line
Essex Street - BMT Nassau Street line
Fifth Avenue - BMT Broadway line
Franklin Street - IRT Seventh Avenue Line
Pennsylvania Station - IRT Seventh Avenue Line
Rector Street - IRT Seventh Avenue Line
What you won't see here are pre-1908 Heins & Lefarge signage, such as the Spring Street station on the Lexington Avenue green line. Ditto for anything put up after 1923, because of copyright restrictions.
A note about color
The colors of the digital mosaics in this site represent my best shot at the actual colors of tiles on the walls, using my own on-site photography and Photoshop color-correction. But therein lies a problem:
If you look at the many photos of the mosaics found on the internet, you'll find colors all over the place. Some Essex station photos show the background tiles as a near-black, others a warm red. Christopher St/Sheridan Sq. can be dirty smudge-green or bright emerald-isle, neither of which are accurate.
The problem is two-fold. First is in taking pictures of the tiles. Down in the stygian depths of the subway, you're stuck with using a flash or bounce-flash, either of which will burn out the tiles directly in front of the camera and darken as the tiles extend out from the optical center. You can color-correct with Photoshop or some such, but it's still a crap shoot. If you have really expensive photo equipment, both camera & lighting, you'll do better. Some of the best subway signage photography can be found in a slide show attached to a New York Times review of a 2007 exhibition of Squire Vickers' work. Most of us don't have what Todd Heisler, the NYT photographer, used, nor the talent. Sigh.
The other problem, also related to the stygian-depths problem, is the subway station lighting. Throughout the subway system, MTA consistently uses a specific color of fluorescent lighting which shifts seriously to yellow. If you spend more than a few minutes on a subway platform, your brain will automatically compensate for the color-shift, allowing you to see pretty much what Mr. Vickers & Co. intended. Cameras and Photoshop don't work like that. Much of what you see here is what I remember the colors looking like at the time I shot them.