roll call

14 Apr

Vintage bus roll, found here

A few years ago, we had one of these old oilcloth sheets (the MTA made them for both buses and subways) haphazardly hanging in the living room.

The only picture I could find

When we moved, we sold it on Ebay, and definitely not for the amount that this guy is fetching for them.  Because apparently now the vintage MTA signs are incredibly popular, appearing in movies and on the sets of multiple TV shows (you can read JR’s page for more information). 

If you’re not picky about destination or location, he will pick a section of an old route roll for you for around $100 bucks.  

Luckily, I’ve found some great alternatives, if you like the style of these old signs and want to support handmade art by small businesses.

Wooden sign, Signs of Vintage, Etsy $46-60

Signs of Vintage is a great shop on Etsy.  Among other lovely hand-painted signs, they’ll custom-make one of these destination signs for you, based on the locations you choose.  Memorialize your favorite stops on the bus, or recall the highlights of a recent trip to New York. 

Bedtime Bus Roll Print, Sweet Prints, MiniStyle, $32.65 (US)

Just discovered the MiniStyle website and I’m in love with their selection.  True to the reputation of kids’ shops in Australia, this site offers a variety of beautifully-designed stuff for kids – and yes, they ship to the US.   This poster, by Sweet Prints (if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years as a branding consultant, it’s that kids’ and pets’ companies take the cake when it comes to punny brand names) is my absolute favorite.   A clever take on the bus roll original (complete with ‘slight printer roller marks to add to the vintage feel of the poster’), you can even customize the order of events to accommodate your baby’s unique bedtime routine. 

Lastly, all this talk of white-on-black print reminds me of these:

A small sample of designs inspired by Experimental Jetset

I found a great article by the guys who brought to the world the original John&Paul&Ringo&George T shirt, which then spawned a mass of imitators (I’m sure you have your own favorite).  It’s a fascinating story and an example of the internet/cultural meme at work.  Create your own with subway or bus stops, and the world might seriously twist inside out.

Any other examples of white type/black background designs you’ve seen lately? Let me know!

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One Response to “roll call”

  1. Andrika King April 21, 2010 at 4:01 am #

    I LOVE at Sweet Prints poster! Thought it would be funny to hang on a door on a child's room.

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