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New Underground Map

June 29, 2011 1 comment

I’m quite liking this new approach to the London Underground map by Mark Noad… (The version on Mark’s site is interactive and much more legible than this screen grab)

Although it goes completely against the grain of Harry Becks iconic original, it’s visually similar enough to be able to immediately understand what it is, and yet subtly different enough to be an interesting idea. This alternative approach shows relative distances between stations with a degree of accuracy that Beck’s genius allowed him to move away from, opting instead as he did, to follow the standards of electrical engineering drawings, where the order of things in the diagram is far more important than their actual realtime positions.

The generator for the design apparently was both the increased number of lines (underground and overground) and the ongoing complexity of the system since the first map was published in 1931, with Noad suggesting that Harry Beck wouldn’t come up with his original design if he was looking at it fresh today.

A bold statement indeed…



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