Stickers on the Central Line, London Underground

I don’t normally post works that I can’t trace back to an original source, but I’ll make an exception for these hilarious and superbly executed “prank” stickers found on the London Underground. Matching the original strip map almost exactly, they instead insert something unexpected, pointed, or just plain funny. Strangely, or just coincidentally, all the examples here use the Central Line as their canvas.

My favourite? Change at Tottenham Court Road for a submarine to Somalia, complete with a very plausible London Underground submarine icon.

More here in this imgur album. Hat tip to Twitter user Ben Darfler.

Another addition in Maps of Rowan-Canyon dot tumblr

For the most part we didn’t leave the block-radius around Harrah’s but this wasn’t that crazy as each block is a fuckin MILE long. Harrah’s and the Linq hotel are joined together in one enormous mass, including numerous restaurants, shops, casinos, and a retail strip like an outdoor mall with more of the same, with mist blasting down from towers to make walking in the 115-degree heat a little more bearable. The Venetian hotel was one of the biggest buildings I have ever been in I think - you walk around the interior like a maze, and emerge on a replica of Venice streets and canals with the sky lit and painted above you as if it were the evening. Truly beautiful - the Mandalay Bay casino had a similar effect to make it seem like you were walking along a beach in the dark of the night when you were just walking the climate-controlled bowels of a casino. 

Some stuff off the one-block includes Mandalay Bay to the south for the casino and a really amazing aquarium, the Rehab pool party at Hard Rock, Hustler club, the Renaissance Hotel for a banquet, the Stratosphere needle, and Fremont Street - the former being a pretty interesting piece of Vegas history. The downtown was the old strip and nexus of gambling, before what is known as “the Strip” today took off in the 1960s-1970s. Downtown and Fremont Street were pretty run down and seedy all through the 1990s-2000s when the city revitalized it. Now, it’s incredibly crowded and dense, like the sprawl of the strip condensed into a six-block stretch. Really old casinos and bars, feels like much more of a natural and organic neighborhood than the shinyness of the south strip.


While I was preparing files for my publication with Burrasca, I stumbled across different channels of my oblique elevation renderings for my senior project. I completely forgot about these raw renders. 

Design Resource: Transport for London’s “Line Diagram Standards” Guide

Definitely worth a look to see how a major transit agency puts together a comprehensive guide to assembling consistently designed maps. The guide deals with horizontal in-car strip maps and the vertical line maps seen on platforms, but many of the principles still hold true for the design of a full transit map.

Of particular interest is the relationship between the x-height of Johnston Sans and the thickness of the route lines (they’re the same). This value of “x” is also used to calculate the radius of a curve in a route line: the innermost edge of a curve is always three times the value of “x” – never any less. Almost every relationship between objects on the map is defined mathematically, although the nomenclature can be a little less than intuitive sometimes: “x”, “n” and “CH” all make an appearance!

Also, if you ever wanted to know what the PANTONE or CMYK breakdowns for all the Underground route line colours are, this guide tells you that, too!

All in all, a really interesting read – just try and ignore the terrible typos that pop up here and there: “donated” instead of “denoted” on page 11 is my favourite! Click on the image or the link below to download the PDF.

(Source: Transport for London website - 2MB PDF)


Subway Maps in Mario Kart 8 “Super Bell Subway” Course

Sent my way by quite a few people now! Taken from a new DLC map set inside a subway station and the surrounding tracks, we have quite the array of maps! Here we have a map for the whole system, a strip map for the Orange Line, and even a locality map!

The main subway map itself is pretty non-descript and generic – not a lot to say about this. The strip map, however, is pretty neat: it indicates direction of travel and the final destination nicely, as well as the name of the next station. Numbers here refer to the station number along each line, rather than representing the line itself as a whole. Hence, “our” station of Golden Bell is O4/B6/R4, being the fourth station along the Orange Line, the sixth on the Blue, and the fourth again on the Red. We can see that Ribbon Road station (O5) also serves as B7, and so on. This kind of numbering of stations along route lines occurs quite often in Asian transit systems, so it’s no surprise to see it in a game produced in Japan.

The locality map is very handsome, showing an interesting radial street pattern with lots of parkland and the lovely Toad Harbor. However, the layout of the Metro lines shown leaving the station doesn’t match the subway map at all. Blue and Orange diverge immediately after leaving the station in both directions, instead of staying concurrent in the direction of Ribbon Road and Baby Park stations.

Source: this imgur album

Who needs globes when we have Google Earth? Some people do, and Bellerby & Co. Globemakers is one of two globemaking companies in the world. While cheap, flimsy globes are readily available worldwide, Bellerby’s work combines both old school methods and modern technologies. Even their biggest globe – the 127 cm Churchill – is made using “goring”, which is gluing map strips on the globe.

Peter Bellerby wanted a globe for his father’s 80th birthday. Unfortunately, he had to choose between flimsy cheap globes and fragile antiques. Bellerby chose the door number three, and decided to make one himself. This was much harder than he realized, starting with the search for accurate maps, and ending up with globe rotation issues. Along the way, he established a workshop and is now making classy, classical globes.

More info: | facebook | instagram | twitter (h/t: mymodernmet)

Peter Bellerby started making globes in 2008; new team members need about six months of training.

He had to figure out globemaking process by himself; it took two years to make a globe he could sell

Image source: Stuart Freedman

Pater’s favorite part is putting on the last “gore” – a triangular bit of map that goes on the glove

Unsurprisingly, Peter hopes to pass these skills down to his family

Gores get multiple layers of paint; gore have to be made in identical sets, so that damaged ones could be readily replaced

Measuring the orb and goring is an arduous process: if the gores are too small, it could lead to big gaps in coverage

Gores are soaked in water before stretching and applying them to the globe

Churchill is their largest globe at 127 cm diameter. It’s inspired by globes gifted to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill during WW2

Isis started painting around the coastlines in England and is working her way around Cambodia, Vietnam & towards the Americas

An 80 cm globe in progress: the first half of the gores have to be laid down before the second hemisphere can be matched to them

The gores are not printed in color: by adding pigmentation by hand, the globemakers achieve a better depth effect

The studio works on several globes at the same time as the process requires time to set and dry

Globes are usually transferred to a wooden base with a roller bearing system.

Laying and manipulating the last gore onto a 36cm globe

Image source: Stuart Freedman

Peter Bellerby himself

Image source: Allun Callender

Desk Globes

Image source: Ana Santl

Painting the Churchill

The largest globe vs. the smallest

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from DeMilked

Mexico City Metro Linea 3 Map… or List

About as simple and directly to-the-point as a line map can get. Really, it’s just a bulleted list, with each station’s icon serving as the bullet. Of note though, is how each icon has its own very distinct shape within the square (with a rounded corner) framework. Each is easily identifiable, even from a bit of a distance. 

Source: dogseat/Flickr

Photo: Toyoko Line Strip Map, Shibuya Station, Tokyo

Lovely clarity with this strip map for the Toyoko Line in Japan (the name is a portmanteau of Tokyo and Yokohama, the two cities that the line runs between).

There are four route lines, each clearly showing which stations the different service types stop at. From top to bottom, these are Local, Express, Commuter Express and Limited Express. Interchanges with other lines – regardless of operating company – are also shown, and it’s bilingual as well!

My only quibble is this map’s placement halfway down a stairwell, which seems bound to cause problems at rush hour.

Source: nicolasnova/Flickr

Mexico City Metro Linea 1 Strip Map

If you’re going to use icons for each of your stations, as Mexico City does, then why not make them nice and big and simply arrange them in the correct order?

More from Wikipedia on the iconography of the Mexico City Metro:

Each station is identified by a minimalist logo related to the name of the station or the area around it. This is because, at the time of the first line’s opening, the illiteracy rate was extremely high, so people found it easier to guide themselves with a system based on colors and visual signs. The design of the icons and the typography are a creation of Lance Wyman, who also designed the logotype for the 1968 Summer Olympic Games at Mexico City. The logos are not assigned at random; rather, they are designated by considering the surrounding area, such as:

  • The reference places that are located around the stations (e.g., the logo for Salto del Agua fountain depicts a fountain);
  • The topology of an area (e.g., Coyoacán—in Nahuatl “place of coyotes"—depicts a coyote); and
  • The history of the place (e.g., Juárez, named after President Benito Juárez, depicts his silhouette).

The logos’ background colors reflect those of the line the station serves. Stations serving two or more lines show the respective colors of each line in diagonal stripes, as in Salto del Agua.

(Source: Universe’s universe/Flickr)

Red Line L Train

Rather lovely strip map for the Red Line at Lake station. The Cubs logo in place of the station dot at Addison station is a very deft touch – providing useful information without detracting from the simplicity of the map.

The tiles in the station are rather nice too, although having a big “L” for “elevated” in one of the few subterranean stations in the system is a little ironic, don’t you think?

EDIT: Oh, of course… it’s “L” for “Lake”. Silly old me.

(Source: Taekwonweirdo/Flickr)


A lovely little slice of Tokyo life, complete with a very compact but informative strip map for the Yamanote Line: current station, connecting services (both in two languages), and estimated time to other stations on the line. It’s basically the analogue version of the digital map that’s on the trains themselves, as seen in this post.

(Source: tokyoform/Flickr)

Photo: Willesden Junction, Not Willesden Green!

A very obvious sticker hides a rather monumental error on this Bakerloo Line strip map. The rather ugly abbreviation “Junct” only just covers up the fact that this sign used to read “Willesden Green” – which is on the Jubilee Line, not the Bakerloo! Prior to 1979 and the opening of the Jubilee Line, Willesden Green was serviced by Bakerloo trains – but we can’t even blame an old sign here, as this one only dates from the introduction of the Overground brand in 2007 at the absolute earliest. Whoops!

Source: Charlotte Gunnell/Flickr

Historical Map: 1970 NYMTA Graphics Standards Manual “Inside Line Map”

Yummy excerpt from the Massimo Vignelli/Unimark 1970 style guide, showing style and dimensions for in-car strip maps, using the “E” line as an example. Look at how everything is defined precisely and consistently: there’s absolutely no room for misinterpretation here.

Want to see more from the manual? Check out this great Flickr photoset.

(Source: Blue Pencil)