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ICONS ARE BETTER #38: THE TUBE MAP

Many large cities in the world have an underground system, all of these have maps,

But none of them are quite as iconic as that of the London Underground.

Designed in 1933 by Henry Beck, who based it on an electrical circuit diagram.

The evenly spaced stations and sharp 45 degree angles are geographically inaccurate,

Really, it’s more of a picture than a map.

But there’s structure in it, it feels intuitive.

The design is beautifully bold and incredibly simple.

It is entrenched in popular culture;

Artists make pastiches of it,

Google uses it in their doodle,

You can buy stationary adorned in it,

Dumbledore has a tattoo of it above his left knee.

Since it was first introduced it has absorbed new stops, new lines, even new forms of transport.

Never compromising its iconic design.

Like beefeaters and telephone boxes, it is a pervading and profound symbol of London.

It’s also just very useful.

Cali Mackrill – @M4ckers