Rethinking Manila LRT-MRT Navigation Part 1

Wholly inspired by‘s A Redesign of Bus Stops and Signage in Metro Manila, I took a look at the perennial problem with the way Manileños are tasked to navigate a particularly vital mode of transport—the LRT-MRT system—and tried to make it a little more user-friendly.


Font and Color

The typeface I used is HP Simplified because I think it’s just beautiful, modern, and navigator-friendly. It was designed to make Hewlett-Packard advertisements easy to read yet professional-looking and eye-catching, which IMO are the three most important elements a public navigation sign should have. (Maybe HP can sponsor.)

As for color, I opted for a grayscale palette to allow the original line colors and text to stand out:




Even though each line in the network is run by a different entity, there should still be one unifying name and logo to identify the whole system. I think calling it the Manila Metro suffices even though it’s a word flip of the colloquial “Metro Manila”.

Identity-wise, it puts Manila in the same league as colossal metros like Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, Moscow, Madrid, Paris, etc. (Fake it ’til you make it.)

All Manila Metro stations should be identified by one, recognizable logo. My proposed design is loosely based off of the front view of an LRT-1 Gen 1 rolling stock—the first in the system’s history.



The Map

Following the cue of what I think are some of the best designed rapid transit system maps in the world today, I employed the principles first developed by Harry Beck, which he used on his 1933 redesign of the London Underground map.



Station Name Sign

There is plenty of information that can be included in a station name sign—besides the station name—and model metro cities like Tokyo and Seoul do this rather effectively.


As an example, the sign above should be placed on the northbound platform of Doroteo Jose Station. It features:

  1. Station name prominently displayed
  2. Station number
  3. Line color
  4. Direction platform train is bound for
  5. Previous and next stations

As a bonus for observant commuters, I put additional information on the sign’s circle:


While regular stations have a circle with a line color border, transfer stations (like Doroteo Jose Station) are denoted by a “transparent” stroke circle—actually the same stroke colors used on the system map.

Part 2 (TBA)


2 thoughts on “Rethinking Manila LRT-MRT Navigation Part 1

    1. Hi lianlaspinas – sa ngayon di pa po natin alam kung alin sa mga options ang pinili ng DOTr. Ito lang po kasi yung pinaka-latest na linabas sa preso ng gobyerno. Pag na-announce na po yung final dun ko papalitan.


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