In 1996, a ballot measure set in motion a regional light-rail transportation system. On December 19—last Saturday—the portion connecting SeaTac airport with downtown Seattle opened up. Just in time for my sister to suggest that my daughter and I try it out.
The system is new enough that at the SeaTac end there are staff members on the platform helping riders figure the system out, including the need to buy a ticket from a kiosk on the floor below.
And the train was fairly empty at that end of the run.
As we moved toward the center of the city, and the more established rapid transportation routes, the passenger load increased.
There are bike racks, and additional spaces that accommodate bikes, in each car. This one’s hanging in one of the racks.
The access door closest to the hanging bike rack has a bike decal on it. Even when the bike racks are full, there’s space for bikes.
There’s a great diversity of riders.
I’m from a part of the country where mass rapid transit is still a dream.
My daughter and I got distracted by the typeface used on the stations in the new part of the route. (The stations in the central part of the city have different typography, as do most of the Link Light materials.) We thought it was unusually graceful, as well as clear.
So we took a number of photos (to give ourselves a variety of characters with which to identify it).
By happenstance, the four of us who ended up eating at the card table in my sister’s study for dinner last night all like type, so we got to talk about it at length! (Daughter, niece, me, and the graphic artist who is a neighbor of my sister and brother-in-law.) When you say a font is a “semi serif,” that’s a vague classification, although it’s the one that applies in this case: it’s neither a sans serif nor a traditional serif font. I learned, from my niece, about Typedia, a new-to-me resource that I look forward to exploring. My daughter, who designs websites, learned about Typekit, which I’d known about in theory but not practice.
Summary: Seattle’s Link Light connection between SeaTac and downtown—easy, comfortable, and inexpensive.
Plus far more interesting type than is usual in wayfinding signage.
Later, cousins who haven’t seen each other since last year spent some time getting reacquainted.
The cousin in the middle was using Photoshop to straighten and resize the snapshot of the Rainier Beach sign so we could work on identifying it. Font identification tools tend to expect that the mystery font will be a classic serif or sans serif face, or a display face. Semi-serif fonts tend to fall through the cracks of the systems. We fed it into WhatTheFont first. We couldn’t get an i.d. there, and left the “submit it to humans for input” option as a backup if we couldn’t put a name on it by another method. By going through the letters’ idiosyncracies on Identifont, we did locate something close enough—Rotis Semi Serif Regular—which led us to the real thing: Rotis Semi Serif Bold.
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate that holiday in any form, and happy upcoming new year to all.