Metcard ticket designs

When I was growing up, I found design inspiration in all sorts of odd places. Two of my favourites were postage stamps and transport tickets.

In the late 90s when ticket machines were introduced, Metcard ticket design changed from a basic ticket to a card…and this opened up a new opportunity for design. I adored collecting the different designs, especially the early food ones (in the top row of the photo below), and the illustrations of the buildings of Melbourne. They’re probably nothing more than a historical reference now…

Similar to stamps, it’s a small area to make a big impact with. But with Metcards, it was often a card that someone would need to hold onto for a week, or a month. I loved the idea that you could create something for someone to glance at every day. That you could make something that would make someone read, someone smile, someone stop for a moment of their day.

I always dreamed of getting to design my own ticket, someday. While that didn’t happen (we now have boring credit-card style PTV cards, all with the same design!), it was a good motivator throughout high school and beyond. It reminded me that design is everywhere. And no how big or small the design is, it always has a reason to be there.