It may be the most famous graphics standards manual ever created (if not one of the largest): Unimark International’s 364-page manual for The New York City Transit Authority’s signage and wayfinding system. It was put together by Unimark’s Bob Noorda and Massimo Vignelli in 1970.
So…how famous? A couple of years ago, an original copy was discovered in the basement of the New York office of Pentagram. Last week, a Kickstarter campaign was launched to raise $108,000 to faithfully reproduce the manual. By 10am PST, over $65,000 had been pledged. By noon, that figure was up to $126,000. And by 2:30pm, it had topped $160,000. As of this morning, total funds pledged had surpassed $600,000. You get the idea.
Side note: It’s widely known that Helvetica is the font currently used throughout the NYC subway system. But in 1970, Noorda and Vignelli spec’d Standard Medium. Helvetica didn’t become the official font until 1989.