Designer Warns Against Renaming 30th Street Station
By Molly Daly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah last week introduced legislation that would rename 30th Street Station in honor of the late Bill Gray, the Philadelphia minister and former lawmaker who became the first African American to serve as House majority whip.
One of designer Joel Katz‘s cardinal information design rules: never change the name of a street or building that includes a number, letter, compass direction, or that’s part of a set.
“30th Street Station is probably at 30th Street. Then those things become important for people who naturally default to those clues and cues to find certain places, and to generally find their way around and to know where they are. If they took at 30th Street Station, and they see “William H. Gray III Station,” people are going to be confused. And everybody’s confused enough as it is.”
The proposed name, “William H. Gray III 30th Street Station,” leaves no doubt about location, but Katz says may inadvertently give Gray short shrift.
“If they’re not replacing 30th Street Station — calling it “William H. Gray III Station” — there’s a chance that everybody will just ignore it, and it will do no harm.”