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.
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.
Two 3" CDs housed in recycled kraft boxes, containing orienteering maps of familiar places, a compass, film strips, and personalised adventuring routes in an edition of 100. More details and sound samples here.
The Strip, a hand-drawn map from the 1954 Las Vegas city directory. This area, just south of the city limits, then had six resort-casinos: Sands, Desert Inn, Flamingo, Thunderbird, Last Frontier and El Rancho Vegas.
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.
The Main Strip is where the town hall, social hall, justice hall, police station, and few shops and cafes are located.
The Mayor’s Building is the official residence of the incumbent mayor of the town. The building also serves as a museum as some rooms are open for public tours (although appointment must be in advance).
Photo - Official Map: Strip Map for the Gold Coast Light Rail, Queensland, Australia
Here’s a rare example of an illustrated strip map, used above the doors on the Gold Coast’s G:Link light rail vehicles in Australia. Despite my self-professed preference for clean, minimalist, ordered design, I actually love this map to bits.
Why? Because “sense of place” and community are the absolute winners here. The two-colour illustration style is charming and whimsical, while the instantly recognisable landmarks link the whole coast together from north to south. Most importantly, people are shown smiling and having fun, which is what the Gold Coast is meant to be about. I particularly like the way that the lining “route line” becomes breaking waves when the route gets nearer to the beaches. Fun!
Of course, this approach only works because the G:Line has one route: you can just read the big, bold and unmissable station names from one end of the map to the other to find your stop. Any split in the line to a different destination would be too hard to read with this illustration style.
Our rating: When you have but a single LRT line, you can have a bit of fun with the way it’s shown on a map. Joyous, bright and fun! Four stars.
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.
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.
At Moricz Zsigmond korter station. One of my favourite on-platform strip maps. There’s no ambiguity at all about which stations you can reach from each side of the platform, and the current station is clearly highlighted. Lovely work.
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.
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.