A couple of days ago, the English Heritage honoured Harry Beck’s birthplace with a blue plaque. Beck was the chap who designed the original London Tube map. I’m writing this post on my phone so unfortunately can’t link to it just now, but if you flick back through my posts there is a link to a good article on the birth and evolution of the tube map. (I’ll try to update with link tomorrow)
Something that also caught my eye today was a proposal for a new tube map by Max Roberts.
While this design looks great and is revolutionary in how it presents the tube, I’m afraid I have to go with the old saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
At least with the old one you know which side of the river you’re on, figuring out interchanges and walkables is easy, plus if tourists struggle with the existing tube map which, in my opinion, is ridiculously easy to understand; god knows how they would find this one. And I think even Londoners would find it confusing.
But then I suppose I am biased. Harry Beck’s tube map is one of my favourite bits of design. It’s on my favourite mug, a pencil case and the covers of my photo album (yes, they were all from Paperchase) and if I could find it on a Tea towel I would probably buy that too. I can’t say I’d want to buy anything with Max Roberts’ design on. It’s good- don’t get me wrong- it’s just not for me.