Sunday, May 24, 2009

London Underground Map is Visual Communication Classic

The London Subway Map is one of the most famous examples of visual communication in history but it was turned down at first for being too radical. Of course, in London they call it the Tube rather than the Subway and it's more of a diagram than a map because it doesn't depict geography realistically.

Harry Beck, a 29 year-old engineering draftsman, created the diagram first printed in 1933 by compressing distances between stops in favor of just showing the sequence of stops and connections between the lines. This stylized version cut down on unnecessary confusion associated with early maps that remained truer to the actual geographic distances and arrangement.

The London Subway Map is a good example of visual communication and shows how, when done well, visual images can be as important as words and numbers in communicating important information and ideas. In addition, clear and effective communication can be as important as aesthetic self-expression in art and design courses.

Click on the heading above to see a short video about the history of the London Underground Map.

No comments: