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the tube map

"It's almost impossible to improve and is beautiful to look at - an image of a perfect piece of design."  Gert Dunbar - Professor of Graphic Design, Royal College of Art
the london underground map had been discussed in at least one of my design classes as being an important navigational icon. not until i had to use it did i really appreciate it's near perfection (it hasn't hardly changed since 1931). london is a large city, immensly intimidating upon first arrival, but as soon as one looks at the map determines which zone they're in and where they're going to, the rest is a breeze. nearly every other large metropolis has designed their transit maps after this one designed by henry beck (looks a lot like chicago's el and new york's subway maps doesn't it?).
"The map was considered unconventional at the time because previous maps followed the layout of the land. Beck saw obvious problems with this approach as the transport system expanded and the complexity grew (Garland, 1994), and developed a piece of design which made the transition from map to diagram.

That it is now called a planner is testament to its functionality and acceptance."
An Essay On The Tube Map  Doug Green, March 2000

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i love the tube. i rode the subways in boston this summer and loved it! I only wish i lived somewhere with one so I could sell my car to make a down payment on buying my soul back (maybe if i sold my tv too they would give it to me on lay away!)10/30/2003 10:53:59 AM
Like dendrites or axon clusters...10/30/2003 11:35:29 AM
I just ran across cartoonist/illustrator/blogger Kean who organized online photos and sketches from a recent trip to NYC along the subway map: link11/3/2003 7:47:27 PM
i really liked Kean's page, Nick. cool images of new york, and an intersting way of navigating though a journey- i think henry beck would've enjoyed it as well.11/7/2003 8:09:52 AM
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