The Classic Standards Manual Exclusively Re-Released On Kickstarter

09.23.14 | By
The Classic Standards Manual Exclusively Re-Released On Kickstarter

Little did Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth know that when they were in the basement of the design firm Pentagram, they would stumble upon a rare, original copy of the 1970 New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual, designed by Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda of Unimark, in a locker beneath old gym clothes. It is often regarded as one of the world’s classic examples of modern design. In order to share the manual’s design beauty, they created a website with images of the book to share with friends. Within 72 hours, it went viral. Inspired by the popularity of the site, Reed and Smyth took it in their hands to give the people what they want.


Working with the MTA, they got permission to reissue the Standards Manual as a hardcover book. However, the one condition they have is that the reissue is only available through a 30-day Kickstarter campaign.


The manual will be reissued using high quality scans from the original. In addition, there will be an introduction from Vignelli’s protégé and now Pentagram partner Michael Bierut, and an essay from New York magazine’s Christopher Bonanos, author of Instant: The Story of Polaroid.




After surviving a quarter life crisis, Nanette went from working in healthcare canadian meds to pursuing her loves of design, food and writing. During the day she works in social media marketing, by night she writes for Design Milk. You can find more of her work at