Jump to content

 
Photo

Vignelli explaining his map

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1
margaret

margaret

    Key Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 58 posts
  • United States

"Massimo Vignelli explains his 1972 NYC Subway Map." From Gary Hustwit's Helvetica: A Documentary Film.

#2
Dennis McClendon

Dennis McClendon

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,080 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago
  • Interests:map design, large-scale maps of cities
  • United States

Though I think the Vignelli map was unfairly discarded, he doesn't present a very strong defense here.

He says that perhaps, like the London Underground map, he should have removed all traces of geography--including the boroughs and water/land differentiation. First, the London map has always included the Thames. Second, though there's perhaps a place for a pure journey planner (showing only where to change trains to journey from one station to another), the general-purpose "subway map" must serve many additional purposes, including telling people what subway station is closest to their destination. At that, the Vignelli map failed spectacularly.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#3
margaret

margaret

    Key Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 58 posts
  • United States

Though I think the Vignelli map was unfairly discarded, he doesn't present a very strong defense here.

He says that perhaps, like the London Underground map, he should have removed all traces of geography--including the boroughs and water/land differentiation.

I agree Dennis. Which piece of land you are on is fundamental to comprehending your location in NY. I see that same mode of mapping sometimes in other graphic designers' maps: the desire to get away from all physical geographical references as though they are impure elements of the design. Like there's an ambivalence to the land from the start. I'm thinking of some (not all) of the maps in Fawcett-Tang and Owen's Mapping: An illustrated guide to graphic navigational systems.

#4
MapMedia

MapMedia

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,029 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Davis, California
  • United States

Aside from the obvious practical issues with his design choices, I am wondering how the 'avant garde' nature of this work, however criticized, has effected map designs/designers? (i.e. cartographers are 'map designers')

The 1972 NYC transit map reflects Vignelli as a courageous and talented map designer. Though this piece did not meet with great acclaim, he can speak about 'why' he did what he did, and I respect that. He took a great gamble on bringing a design to the masses and not to the art gallery wall. Where would we be without it?

And now for: The NYC transit map explains Vignelli.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->