The London Underground at 150

You might have seen a raft of news stories yesterday commemorating 150 years of the London Underground. Aside from having a love/hate relationship with the damn thing, it has always intrigued me, and I have to admit to being a bit of a train geek in that respect. I even watched the recent BBC documentary, “The Tube”, and loved it. This is all despite spending most of my daily life trying to avoid using it. Cramped, smelly and stressful. Urgh.

However, the iconic Underground map has been a fascination for me, as a designer, for years. It might be the pretty colours, but the sense of order created by Harry Beck’s version, back in 1931, is perhaps what I strive to achieve in my own work. Recent versions have continued to look just as good, and still today, it’s smart, stylish, timeless, and above all makes sense.

beckmap1

The Guardian ran a sizeable chunk of editorial on its website yesterday, which can be found here. A lot of it, in my eyes, is fascinating. What I especially enjoyed, and always do when a new one pops up on Twitter, are the alternative tube maps. I especially enjoyed the footballing version, seen here.

You can spend hours on the Londonist website trawling through loads of variations. The geographical ones are always interesting viewing! See them here.

Geek out!

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