Ridin' the Rails

Travel Town Railroad typography

The last time my brother and his family visited, we went to Travel Town in Griffith Park. Travel Town is basically a holding pen for out of service trains. It sounds exciting and evokes the idea of seeing new places, but the trains are secured to tracks that go nowhere. It is a good place to take hyperactive children, but you must be willing to accept the danger of actual steel trains. Back in my day when we still read by kerosene lamp, we didn’t have all plastic and rubber playgrounds with no sharp edges. We had swings with chains that would rip your thumb off, merry-go-rounds that had a tendency to throw you off and drag you under the contraption, and lots of exposed rusty nuts and bolts. I’m still here, although almost all of my scars (the physical ones) are from a playground.

We left Travel Town with one cut finger, but no other accidents. Of course I took my camera. What better photo op than cute kids playing on trains? I may joke that every designer I know has an Album named “Type” in iPhoto, and I’m no different. In the end I ignored the kids as they shouted, “Uncle Sean, over here. Look. Look at me. Take a photo.” Instead I focused on the remarkable typographic language of the railroad world. I did snap one photo of the kids after relentless shouting, but by then it was dark.

Travel Town Railroad typography

Travel Town Railroad typography

Travel Town Railroad typography

Travel Town Railroad typography

DSC01881

Travel Town Railroad typography

Travel Town Railroad typography

Travel Town Railroad typography