An Etiquette Guide For Urban Life

We love cities, but for cities to work well, people have to live together and be nice to each other. Sometimes they are not; they do weird things, they annoy us with their cellphones, they treat the streetcar like their bathroom vanity, and other things better done in the privacy of one's home.

When designer Christopher Rouleau moved to Toronto from a very polite Saskatchewan, he noticed that it "could be quite fast-paced, impersonal and, well, rude. He wants to change that; based on precedents from other cities including New York and Chicago, he has started the Etiquette Project, designing lovely little cards that you can print out and check off the offenses being committed by your fellow citizen, whether they are flossing their teeth on the subway or talking on their cellphone while dining.

Not everyone is impressed; some commenters at BlogTO say "I look forward to punching in the face the first person that hands me one of these. How's that for etiquette?" I personally would size up the recipient before I handed these out, and if I got one, would take it at face value; as Chris says in BlogTO,

The objective is to make the people of Toronto more aware of their behaviour, and hopefully to put a smile on people's faces.

Download and print your own at the Toronto Etiquette Project

Leadheads may be wondering what the font is that Christopher used. In the fifties and sixties, the Toronto Transit Commission used a font for their graphics that was immediately identifiable as theirs, but that nobody quite knows who designed it or what happened to it. The font has been reconstructed here.

An Etiquette Guide For Urban Life
Cities can be crowded and controversial; Use the etiquette guide to help people be better citizens.

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