Partners In Design


A Design Classic: Updated

When Massimo Vignelli re-defined the New York Subway signage in the early 70's, he also provided a matching map, which can only be described as an abstract piece of public art. In my opinion, his original map was great...almost perfect. It matched the (then new) Helvetica-clad signs throughout the system, and more importantly, tied together the system with a common visual identity. Sure, it lacked real geographic accuracy, but who cares!

The NY Times has a great article about how Men's Vogue has commissioned Mr.Vignelli to update his design to match the system as of 2008 (which includes deleting, changing and adding lines- like the new AirTrain). They have an "OK" version of it on their site for viewing, but if you want the real deal, you need to pony up $300 for one of 500 limited edition prints.

I am really in love with this map. Especially compared to the current Subway Map disaster:

Though, it's also worth mentioning this map, which was linked to in the Times article:

The above is an indy map made by Kick Design, Inc, which seems to me to be an interesting combination of the two maps's not perfect (seems a little heavy and "chunky" to me), but it would be a nice breath of fresh air from 'THE MAP'.

1 comment:

Alexandra said...

Wow I think Vignelli's map is great. Even though its not geographically accurate. it still gives you the jist of where the train goes. AND it's not a total clutter mess explosion. Simplicity goes a long way.

Kick Design's version is OK, but adding detail to the boroughs is where I think it starts losing appeal for me.