Metrocards Could Be Pieces of a Gigantic Urban Puzzle

A Brooklyn design firm proposes a clever way to combine advertising and adventuring.

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Courtesy: Mayday Mayday Mayday

Long adorned by bold blue letters on an orangey-yellow background, the iconic MTA MetroCard may soon play host to advertising. For prices ranging between 18¢ and 51¢ per card, the move could net the struggling MTA millions (or billions?) in revenue per year, though the consequence may very well be bland and boring corporate messages littering the floors of subway stations.

Brooklyn-based creative and branding consultancy Mayday Mayday Mayday proposes a way out: make MetroCards into an urban puzzle. According to this plan, advertisers would use the back of the MetroCard to share their full message, while the front would host an extremely zoomed-in piece of a larger image (as opposed to shrinking down a poster-sized ad to fit the MetroCard). MTA customers would move around the city, trying to fit their piece of the image together with all the thousands (or millions) of others. The result: advertisers get people to continuously interact with their branding while potential customers pay more attention to the urban delights around them.

The founders of Mayday Mayday Mayday, Wayne Congar and Brendan Bilko, have envisioned an example scenario in which the New Museum pixelates a work of art onto the MetroCards. People use the cards to gain free admission to the museum, and eventually the cards are pieced together to form the large image as various tumblrs and blogs keep track of the progress.

Read more about the project at Mayday Mayday Mayday’s website.

Read the original scoop at Fastcodesign.

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

  • A.J. Artemel is a second-year student at Yale School of Architecture. He holds a BS Arch and a Minor in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia.