Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Is this the reworked London Underground map we've all been waiting for?

rexfeatures_4417694a.jpg

The ever-expanding nature of the London Underground may feel like it serves no purpose other than to regularly disrupt our commutes, but spare a thought for those in charge of the map and thus, the constant updating, altering and tweaking required to fit every new line, station and route.

The map from which the current design has evolved is still an impressive piece of work, having been created by Henry Beck, known as Harry, to replace the originals - train lines imposed over existing city maps. Harry came up with a design less geographically accurate, but easier to understand and, in a detail that will surely compound our sneaking suspicions that we're not utilising our time effectively, came up with it in his spare time no less. The map was so innovative that it was initially rejected in 1931, but after a trial run, introduced in 1933.

However, while his design was successful, some believe that it's too much of a struggle to make it work with the huge and complex transport system of today's capital, and that a complete overhaul is called for. Now, freelance illustrator and designer Mike Hall has come up with a tube map that he says "followed the design rules" of the original, but started with a clean slate and incorporates projected changes.

Mike has worked around what he saw as design flaws in the original, such as using a more flexible symbol for stations like Liverpool Street that house several lines. He's also split up the two branches of the Northern line into separate lines with their own colours, and done the same for the often-confusing offshoots of the Overground and the Uxbridge branch of the Metropolitan line.

tube map symbols
Alternate tube map
 

He's abandoned the names of the lines in favour of a simple numbered system for the Underground and an alphabetised one for the Overground, loosely based on when they were opened with the Circle line renamed the 1, given part of it was the very first line opened in 1863.

Plenty of symbols have been changed in an effort to simplify the system and present a less crowded design, with step-free access indicated by colour rather than a wheelchair symbol, and changing the typeface to Myriad Pro "for its clear appearance and legibility".

tube map overground

Interchange stations are under rounded rectangles rather than a series of hollow circles, with a short connection if the stations are physically separate but connected, like Bank and Monument. Other changes are much simpler but make a difference, such as allowing station names to overlap the River Thames (which they don't do on the current map) and renaming some stations entirely - for instance, changing Caledonian Road & Barnsbury to Barnsbury.

The full map can be viewed here.

Images: Mike Hall

Comments

More

22 Christmas cocktail recipes to jingle your bells

Boozy mince pie freakshake, anyone?

by Amy Swales
09 Dec 2016

Revealed: the gender pay gap for every industry in the UK

How much less do you earn than your male colleagues?

by Sarah Biddlecombe
09 Dec 2016

Experts have revealed the ultimate hangover cure

There’s just one catch…

by Kayleigh Dray
09 Dec 2016

Gigi Hadid opens up about ‘empowering’ decision to quit social media

“The world feels so entitled to other peoples’ lives”

by Kayleigh Dray
09 Dec 2016

This is how Bake Off will change when it moves to Channel 4

From the horse (aka Paul Hollywood)’s mouth itself…

by Kayleigh Dray
08 Dec 2016

Are you the youngest in your family? We have good news for you…

Experts have revealed the surprising trait that all little brothers and sisters share

by Kayleigh Dray
08 Dec 2016

Meet the all-female anti-poaching team saving rhinos in South Africa

Jessica Chastain is set to produce a film about their story.

by Moya Crockett
08 Dec 2016

New-look Baywatch is all about chests, not breasts

But is it really any better... ?

by Kayleigh Dray
08 Dec 2016

Cheers! You can now grow your own Prosecco at home

This could be dangerous...

by Moya Crockett
08 Dec 2016

Is Kim Cattrall already filming a Samantha SATC spin-off?

“Channelling Ms Samantha Jones once again…”

by Kayleigh Dray
08 Dec 2016