Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mind the gap

While visiting the library this weekend, I picked up an entertaining and gorgeous book at the library called Transit Maps of the World. It provides historical and current maps of the world's mass transit systems. I've long been a fan of such maps. While was a backpacker I collected them and I continue to collect maps of all kinds, which has been handy for kid entertainment.

The book focuses primarily on the questions of design, as in how to communicate the necessary information quickly. There are issues as the importance of adhering to topographical reality, how to show changes and the importance of font. Before you scoff, consider the iconic nature of the NY Subway and London Underground fonts. A good font can make a real connection. One of my favorites is the one used in the 1930s National Parks promotion posters made by the Federal Arts Project. Here is an example.

The author posted a few blog posts over at the Penguin blog, which you can read here. Strange Maps has a promotional image which is a map of the world showing mass transit systems.

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