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Designer Proposes London Underground Map Redesign

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The London Underground map, created by Harry Beck in 1931, was an example of great information design, but is now outdated. So says a British designer who is proposing a more geographically accurate version of the iconic map.

Mark Noad explained that when Beck’s original map was in use, there were only seven lines on the Underground so “the compromises Beck made on geographical accuracy did not matter greatly”. Today, there are more than twice that number of lines in operation, exacerbating the inaccuracies.

“They form the basis for a major criticism of the diagram, that it bears little or no relation to London at street level,” Noad wrote on the project website. This distorts the actual physical locations of some stations, leading to confusion when selecting a route to take, or whether it is quicker to walk between stations.


One major change Noad attempted was to change Beck’s 45-degree angles into 30- and 60-degree ones; it “shortens the extremities of the lines to make it more compact”, Noad explained.

The designer is planning to launch a fully-functional site of the redesigned map, including “loads of info including parks and attractions”, he tweeted. An app version of the redesign is also in the works.

[via London Tube Map]
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