The New York City subway map is an icon of our modern urban culture, and it was only a matter of time before the popular graphics made their way on to a t-shirt in some trendy way. Uniqlo just released a new line of SPRZ NY tees featuring designs pulled from the The New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual, a graphic system designed by Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda in the late 1970s. The new line of tees were produced in collaboration with the MoMA and appropriately named, “The Subway and the City.”
Yesterday, 6sqft brought you this modern subway map redesign by Tommi Moilanen. His version keeps the current map’s basic structure, but infuses it with a bit of Massimo Vignelli‘s famous graphic style. Geographically and systemically accurate, Moilanen’s map also uses thick and thin lines to represent express and local service; tints skipped stops a lighter shade; more clearly locates major transfer points and station names; and includes an easy-to-use legend. Though this all sounds great, some New Yorkers will not want to part with the subway map they’ve gotten so accustomed to — what about you?
The existing subway map (left) compared with Moilanean’s map (right)
The subway is one of New York City’s greatest assets, but this only holds true if you can actually navigate through the various tunnels and platforms. And despite the countless transportation apps out there today, the good ‘ole subway map is still the best way to find your way around. There’s certainly been no shortage of map redesigns, but 6sqft is particularly impressed with the stylings of this new map by Tommi Moilanen, a Finnish industrial and interactive designer. His version uses the system’s existing design language, but incorporates a fresh, modern aesthetic.
For all intents and purposes, we do not want any visual of the subway hanging in our apartments. The grimy stations don’t really complement our decor, and we’d prefer not to be reminded of the daily bloodbath that is trying to squeeze onto the 6 train. But this poster is the exception to our no-MTA-in-the-house rule.
Printed using 11 Pantone® spot colors, this snappy piece of wall art displays all 468 subway station signs throughout the city, arranged in alphabetical order. It was designed by Hamish Smyth, one member of the duo who reprinted Massimo Vignelli‘s iconic Standards Manual last year. Once again inspired by Vignelli’s graphic visual approach, Smyth created the new poster because he feels “this is an iconic design that should be remembered and celebrated, and we think a beautifully printed poster is a great way to get it into many people’s hands.”
A Rare Interview with Infamous Subway Map Designer Massimo Vignelli; Where to Hide During a Zombie Apocalypse, Wed, March 25, 2015
- You can own the original lease for Andy Warhol’s first NYC studio. [Curbed]
- Read an interview with graphic designer Massimo Vignelli, who in 1972 created a subway map that sparked controversy for its geometric simplicity and geographical inaccuracy. [Fast Co. Design]
- Marvel comics debuts special New York-centric covers. [NYDN]
- In the event of a zombie apocalypse, lower Manhattan will be the hardest hit. Here’s a nation-wide map of the spread of a fictional zombie epidemic. [WSJ]
- Today is the 104th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. [Bowery Boogie]
Images: Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 subway map (L); From “The Walking Dead” (R)
Kids change everything. And that’s exactly what happened when architect Caterina Roiatti and designer/artist Bob Traboscia of TRA Studio welcomed their son into the world. Shortly afterwards, their apartment of 20 years—a 2,000-square-foot semi-raw “shoebox” loft in Soho—would be transformed from an open live/work space with few windows and doors and no storage to a more grown-up, light-filled home suited for a sophisticated New York family.
For anyone in the world who’s ridden the New York City subway, they’ve undoubtedly taken a curious gander at the system map, full of its rainbow-colored, crisscrossing lines. But what many riders may not know is that in 1972, a man named Massimo Vignelli was commissioned by the city to create a very different version of this map, immediately sparking controversy for its geometric simplicity and geographical inaccuracy. In 1979, Vignelli’s map was replaced with a more organic, curving version like we see underground today.
In 2008, the MTA commissioned Vignelli’s firm to update their map, and a new version was put online to serve as the Weekender, highlighting weekend service changes. But now, underground map enthusiast Max Roberts has gone one step further, and claims he’s come up with a perfect compromise between the Vignelli work and the MTA’s signature map.