The map of the New York City subway system we all know (and has made us late at one point or another) was created by the design team at Michael Hertz in 1979, taking over from the abstract Massimo Vignelli design of 1972. It seems from the little bit of research that I've done that not too many people were thrilled with Vignelli's extremely linear design, which didn't really reflect any of New York's geography or the paths trains travelled. In comparison with the one above, a new way of looking at the subway system in all five boroughs has been floating around the internet thanks to the design of Max Roberts. His other recreations of subway maps include editions for London, Berlin, Tokyo, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Paris, which is the one I hate the most. Paris is already designed according to arrondissements
, and seeing a curved subway plan
on top of it is just a bit too much.
Acknowledging that a map following a curve isn't ideal for New York City, a megalopolis notorious for its gridiron plan in an interview with Gothamist
, Roberts' design seems to focus more on learning the different train routes instead of deciphering your actual surroundings. Personally, I find all three maps useable with Vignelli's original as my favourite, but Roberts said it best,"you just can't please all people with just one design, and the gulf between the desires for simple straight lines versus geographical precision is almost always impossible to resolve." Max Roberts has recreated many of the major subway maps (except for the Montréal metro system, which is probably too boring to redesign with it's sixty-eight stations and four lines), but at this point the only one I really like is his New York City edition.
Labels: art and design