There is a piece of design that is familiar to millions. It is iconic, elegant and a triumph of form over function, because as an example of what it really is, it’s actually quite useless.
I’m talking about the map of the London Underground designed by Harry Beck back in the 1930s. As a map it’s useless, simply because it’s way off in a geographical sense. Most Londoners will, at some stage of living in the big city, have been approached by a slightly confused tourist who thought that two places were actually quite close to each other, because they are adjacent on Beck’s map. It’s not true and can be extremely misleading to those new to the nation’s capital.
So, here at tom-carden.co.uk/p5/tube_map_travel_times/applet, is a new version of the map, fit for the 21st century and more accurate than the original in every sense.
It might not win any design accolades just yet, but it’s damn useful for getting to know the real London and all its dubious sprawling charms, and we reckon it has a bright future.
It’s a work in progress and will only get better, so well worth keeping an eye on this one.
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