Beck’s London Underground Map and Some Musings on Design
Joan gave me the coolest thing the other weekend–a long sheet of Italian wrapping paper with the London Underground map on it. I’m in love with that map for a million reasons, including the fabulous Johnston Underground font (a collaboration with Eric Gill, no less), the use of color, and the memory of my own spontaneous and solitary trip to London in October of 1992, the most adventurous, liberating, extraordinary experience of my life up till then.
But it’s up on my office wall right now as a reminder that any well-designed process or object can be transcendant. The map is distinctive, accessible, functional–and ultimately beautiful. It’s refined away all the detail that can be attended to elsewhere, and delivers only what can be used in context.