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NYC’s new Subway Map

May 28, 2010

After the first major re-design in a decade, NYC is back with a brand spankin’ new Subway map. We are psyched, especially at the new hue of blue water that we know in realty does not look like this… Details below for all you design geeks out there. The new map drops next month. Thanks MTA. now It’s time to get design students to do the Subway posters!

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2010 Map

The new subway map makes Manhattan even bigger, reduces Staten Island and continues to buck the trend of the angular maps once used here and still preferred in many other major cities. Detailed information on bus connections that was added in 1998 has been considerably shortened.

1998 Map

The first major redesign in 20 years shows bus connections at the major subway stations, reminding riders of the free transfers introduced the year before. It adds all of Staten Island and shows ferry connections to New Jersey.

1979 Map

In 1979, Mr. Vignelli’s highly stylized map is scrapped for a more geographically accurate one, which still forms the basis of the current map. A street grid is added, parks become green and water is blue again. Manhattan is less exaggerated horizontally.

1972 Map

A movement toward stylized maps that began in the 1950s culminates in the work of Massimo Vignelli, which relegated physical details to featureless white. “The only thing you are interested in is the spaghetti,” Mr. Vignelli said of the map.

1968 Map

A 1968 map displays the new system of identifying lines by their letters, numbers and colors, which were introduced in late 1967. The changes are part of an effort by the Transit Authority to further integrate the three formerly separate systems — the IRT, BMT and IND — that formed the New York subway.

The Shape of Manhattan in Subway Maps

Manhattan dominates in the new design, its girth growing by 31 percent over the current map.
The island is depicted 83 percent wider than its actual proportions.

via NYTimes

Sources: Metropolitan Transportation Authority;

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 29, 2010 5:29 pm

    Great rundown! And if the blue water is less realistic, at least we don’t have to see mint green parks anymore. Wish they could have taken their cleanup efforts further, but with a beaurocratic client like the MTA, this is definitely a *local stop* in the right direction.

    Here’s a little more about it…

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