Nobody can design a “classic”; whether a typeface ever becomes a classic will be decided by how it gets used over time.
FF Meta has been around for almost 20 years now, and it’s still selling. While new generations of designers constantly rediscover what the previous generation discarded, after a certain time and enough exposure even a once fashionable face like Meta becomes a standard and gets considered for quite archane applications like the one on this facade in Dublin.
The large type on the house was obviously hand-painted years ago. When that type needed to be applied to the newer signs over the shop-fronts below, two different signpainters used two different solutions. One took Meta as his model and re-invented it for himself – that is Messrs Maguire on the green sign.
Somebody else seems to have copied the type for the purple sign from that first copy, adding his own touch.
The metal letters, however, must have come from digital data. It is a fairly faithful rendition of the original Meta. I’m never sure whether this sort of messing with my typeface should please me or annoy me. It certainly proves that Meta is not considered a precious, high-brow designer-typeface anymore. Having arrived on the front of pubs in Dublin, painted by hand, doesn’t quite make it a classic, but it certainly puts in out there.