Sideways Signs is a small shop that creates officially-licensed MTA subway signs for the New York City subway system. Each sign is a handcrafted replica of the official signs, with the same exact layout, font, colors and details as found on the originals. We asked owner Carlton Kutz about how each one comes together:
All designs begin on the computer. There are over 400 subway sign stations, and for each one there is a design based on the MTA standards. Signs begin as sheets of MDF wood and are cut, sanded, and painted black all by hand. Signs are then sanded again and are now ready for text and train lines. The majority of signs are screen printed, and custom signs are done with stencils. For each sign that is usually 4 separate screens printing the colored circles, station text, top line, and train lines. After the ink dries signs are sanded smooth. The final stage is touching up any mistakes, adding a hanger on the back, and then finally the MTA logo sticker on the back.
Each sign is hand painted to order, and they even have a slightly distressed finish (sanded edges, light scuffing) applied to them to make them seem as if they came right out of a station. You can order signs for any of the four hundred and seventy-two stations in the NYC subway system, and can choose from three sizes.
- 17" x 3.5" - $49
- 24.25" x 5" - $89
- 34" x 7" - $119
In addition to the standard signs, you can also make custom requests should you have a specific sign type or size in mind. Here are some behind-the-scenes pics of the shop's workspace.
They are painted on solid MDF wood and come with hangers on the back, ready to display in your home or office. Sideways signs says that most people will order the station that the live or work near in New York City, but there are definitely a bunch of Times Square signs going out to places all around the world.
Sideways Signs has generously decided to offer Viewing NYC readers with a 20% discount on the purchase of any of their signs. Simply head to their online store and be sure to enter the code Special20 when placing your order.
Viewing NYC has two of these signs from the company and can speak first hand on how well crafted they are. Everybody that sees one of them thinks we stole them from the MTA! They are well worth the price of purchase, look great on the wall, and are a great memento of your New York City subway stop.
Full disclosure: Viewing NYC received one subway sign for the purposes of writing this article.
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