Sunday, 31 March 2013

Underground Design

Harry Beck's London Tube Map is one of the greatest pieces of graphic design of the 20th century. First created in 1931, it makes travel around the underground railway system so much simpler. Here's a pre-Beck map from 1908:

This gorgeous London Underground map from 1908.

Of course, many of the lines we now know hadn't been built back then. Here's the first Beck map:

Or this attractive 1933 version.

It's interesting to consider what we might have had instead. For example, here's what the map would have looked like if geographically accurate:

And the tube map as it would look if it was actually accurate.

And here's a lovely orbital version by Maxwell J Roberts:

A circular tube map.

There are some more fascinating (and humorous) variants at Buzzfeed.


  1. Ooooh, I *love* the geographically-accurate map of the Tube! It looks like a confluence of a rainbow of rivers. Where can I find a larger version so I can "read" it?

  2. Persephone - here's a link to the biggest version I've found. Steve Prentice's website is a great archive of such things: