Memphis Subway Scroll

It turns out these are a popular, somewhat kitschy piece of art on Etsy, but I didn't run across one until last year when I was looking for some reference for a 3D arch-viz project. I thought it would be fun to make a Memphis-themed scroll, choosing the "destinations" based on their cultural cachet and historical significance.

I went with Mark van Bronkhorst's Solano Gothic for the typeface. Not only does it resemble the destination scroll fonts on the real NY subway, but I love the deep ink traps and particularly the Q and S.

For creating the vinyl stencils, I went with California-based Jennifer Drechsler-Vu on Etsy. She was super helpful and delivered exactly what I was hoping for, so that I had to do as hand-alignment of the letters as possible.

The Mockup

Subway Scroll 1

The Build

Total cost of the project was about $125, including paint, brushes, MDF, and the vinyl. It took about 6 hours over 10 days, with lots of waiting for paint to dry.

Subway Scroll 2

Subway Scroll 3

Subway Scroll 4

Subway Scroll 5

Subway Scroll 6

Subway Scroll 7

The Result

It would look better against some exposed brick, but it doesn't suck on beige. Overall I was super pleased with the final quality, especially how cleanly the vinyl came off.

Subway Scroll Final