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  • Writer's pictureSusan Tonso

London Maps

how many maps can describe a place?

this year I collected these 4 maps of London, each one depicting a different aspect or characteristic of the city. One of my favourite is the classic underground map.

originally considered too radical, Harry Beck's London Underground Tube map has become a design classic. Now recognised across the world, the Tube map was originally the brainchild of Underground electrical draughtsman, Harry Beck, who produced this imaginative and beautifully simple design back in 1933.

1933 and still the design is almost the same as the old days.

the designer chose not to represent the real route, but to simplify it with straight lines. this way, the map is not intricate like spaghetti plate! we can say it is one of the first pieces of information design!

even more special, the London Underground Architecture & Design Map combines a tube map with architecture and design references.

the guide includes a geographical Underground map with featured stations marked, with corresponding photography and details on the reverse along with tips for where to find unique and unusual signage, roundels, clocks, murals and more. The map is protected by a slipcover featuring a distinctive die cut roundel.

another interesting map is the London National Park City one.

we've created a beautiful folded map of London's great outdoors. Crowdfunded by 308 backers and made for us by Urban Good CIC. The massive map includes all of the capital’s 3,000 parks plus woodlands, playing fields, nature reserves, city farms, rivers, canals and all the spaces that contribute to London’s landscape.

this map is not just a great idea, it is also a well printed piece of design with pantone pink.

a place, a vision and a movement to improve life in London. We’re doing this by enjoying being outdoor more and helping to make our city greener, healthier and wilder.

for urban and architectural explorers like me, one of these two maps are perfect:

Art Deco London Map and Brutalist London Map.

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