Filed under: featuredarticle, london maps, London Underground, maps, underground
I love the London Underground maps and their interesting history. It’s quite a little cult, actually – cartographers, designers, information architects, historians, you never know quite who you’re going to meet when you get interested in underground maps.
Maxwell Roberts is a psychologist and designer – an intriguing background. (Of course, maps are very psychological – for instance,look at the way the Circle Line’s big yellow oblong on the tube map appears to promise us some kind of comfortable solidity at the heart of the London system – a real contrast to maps like New York that seem to be all about speeding through, moving in straight lines.) Max’s latest venture is an exhibition at the Campus Gallery, Southend, entitled ‘Underground Maps Unravelled’.
Max has redesigned the Underground before – I love the ‘curvy map’ with its delicate tendrils of tube, and particularly the almost heart-shaped little loop on the east end of the Central Line. But there will also be other maps in this exhibition too, never seen before.
The flyer for the exhibition promises “Whether you are a graphic designer, transport professional, or just a frustrated commuter or tourist, maps will never seem the same again.”
Southend is perhaps a long way from London. But there are direct trains from Fenchurch Street, and I think this exhibition will be worth seeing – particularly on the three ‘artist in residence’ dates.
By the way, you can download the fine flyer – with excerpts from Paris and Moscow metro maps as well as an Art Nouveau London tube map – from http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~mjr/umu.pdf. I want to find out more about that Art Nouveau version, it’s really pretty (and wouldn’t make bad wrapping paper for Christmas, actually)!
When:26 Feb to 8 March, 9-5 (9-4.30 Sats), not Sun
Where: Campus Gallery, South Essex College, Luker Road, Southend
*** Artist in residence on 26-7 Feb, and 6 March
Photo from Annie Mole on flickr