Peter Lloyd uncovers the history of the Vignelli map that includes the legacy of the people who created and promoted this New York icon—as well as those who hastened its demise. In 2004, Michael Bierut of Pentagram wrote an eloquent homage to it, and in 2007 Gary Hustwit’s documentary “Helvetica” spread knowledge of the map beyond design historians. Downloadable maps for New York transit, including subways, buses, and the Staten Island Railway, plus the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and MTA Bridges and Tunnels. Do you know the scoop? This simplified map is not geographically accurate, simplifying the subway system into a diagram of colored lines. In 2011, the MTA introduced a digital and interactive map, a reinterpretation of Vignelli’s Subway Map, to show customers service changes on weekends. Vignelli, who turned eighty this year, and his colleagues Beatriz Cifuentes and Yoshiki Waterhouse, have even made concessions to earlier criticisms. © 2020 Condé Nast. Central Park is now no longer a square. Created by design and technology firm Work & Co., the map modernizes both Massimo Vignelli’s iconic 1972 map and the current map designed by … If you are lucky, it says, “No scheduled work affecting service at this station.” If there are disruptions, you get further details, including alternate routes. That bothered a lot of people (even though the London map has always done the same thing) and so the map was replaced, in 1979, by a subway map that more accurately reflected the geography at street level, but which is actually harder to navigate. Still, the world—and especially New York—would not be what it is without Vignelli’s elegantly rigorous touch. Nordstrom carried a Vignelli map dress, and Alexander Chen, a conductor (of music, not trains), turned it into an “interactive string instrument.”. The map draws elements from the current “static” subway map from 1979, and the infamous “diagram” designed by Massimo Vignelli in the early 70s. In 1972, the renowned Italian designer Massimo Vignelli redesigned George Salomon's New York Subway map, which persisted until 1979, when superseded by Michael Hertz's design. Graphic designers turned it into something approaching an object of worship. © 2020 New York Public Radio. If you want to get a good look at what all the fuss is about, then you should consider stopping by the 57th Street subway station, where a vintage Vignelli map has been uncovered. massimo vignelli recently updated his iconic 1972 new york city subway map for the may 2008 issue of men’s vogue. Designer Massimo Vignelli's clean modern lines and bold colors changed the branding of the subway in 1972 and elevated the map to the level of modern art. Those dots are just too small and too close together, and you need to expand the image to make much use of it. Images: Vignelli M.T.A. Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy. 1972 Vignelli subway diagram designed by Massimo Vignelli on behalf of the MTA. On Vignelli’s map, subway lines were enticing ribbons of color that ran straight up, straight down, or at a perfect forty-five degree diagonal. All rights reserved. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. The Vignelli map only lasted 7 years before it was replaced with the predecessor to our modern “The Map“. Forgotten NY spotted it there this week, in the same place he spotted it in 1999 (we also noticed it in 2010)... so it's just never been taken down. Vignelli Transit Maps describes the history of the New York subway maps and follows this city’s transportation growth from separate, independent lines to one large system. On the Weekender (a silly name that sounds like a promotion at an upstate bed-and-breakfast) each station is marked by a black dot, as on the 1972 map, but the dots at stations with service changes blink. 1972 Vignelli Subway Map from 16.99 1972 modernist subway map by designer, Massimo Vignelli who also designed the New York City Transit Authority’s Graphic Standards Manual in 1970. All rights reserved. Sign up for our newsletter! Vignelli Transit Maps describes the history of the New York subway maps and follows this city's transportation growth from separate, independent lines to one large system. This shower curtain is based on the 2012 MTA New York City Subway Diagram designed by Vignelli Associates. This map left the hard angles and blank geography behind and went with a vernacular that was more light hearted, with lines flowing around the city and major streets added. Most planned service interruptions happen on the weekends, but subway riders need information presented clearly, simply, and consistently seven days a week. It's been about forty years since the MTA used Italian designer Massimo Vignelli's modernist transit map, but people are still debating its merits and disagreeing on the design today. 1987 NYCT Subway Map. It's a tool for 5 million riders a day. have figured out that this map is good for things other than dresses, why don’t they go the rest of the way, and bring it back as the basis for a more complete interactive map that will be kept live seven days a week? If you select a subway line, it pops out in bright color and the rest of the map recedes into gray. If you visit during the weekend, it redirects you to the Weekender, but the regular weekday site is another thing altogether: dull and cluttered, conventional in every way. It was a marvelous conceptual map, and it was easy to read. And because of the protective plexiglass, no one has stolen it. Instead, has a split personality.   Comment below or Send us a Tip. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20) and Your California Privacy Rights. Using concepts from Massimo Vignelli’s iconic Subway Map of 1972, the new diagram was rebuilt for greater clarity and legibility and is used in the MTA’s Weekender website and app. For most of the nineteen-seventies, the official route map of the New York City subway system was a beautiful thing. The Vignelli map wasn’t radical—it owed a great deal to the famous London Underground map of 1933 by Henry Beck, an updated version of which is still in use. By submitting your information, you're agreeing to receive communications from New York Public Radio in accordance with our Terms. You can view service changes by station, by line, or by borough. cta, chicago transit authority, maps, metro map, subway map, bus map, rta, transit, sightseeing, chicago Vignelli’s 1972 map wasn’t just lovely to look at. Original maps for the privately opened Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT), which opened in 1904, showed subway routes as well as elevated routes. Share your email address to get our top stories each day. However, IRT maps did not show Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT) routes; conversely, BMT maps did not show IRT routes, even after the Dual Contracts between the IRT and BMT. Measures 72x72 inches; Care: Wipe clean with a damp cloth Forgotten NY spotted it … Though Vignelli’s Subway Map is not used officially, his concept of subway map design gets passed down in New York City. You can zoom in at any point, and drag it around with your mouse. Of course, you're more likely to need to check the status of the subway system when you're moving around the city, not sitting at your desk. It was a tool for navigating the subways, although not one for navigating the city streets. And the whole thing resolves the Great Subway Map Debate almost by accident along the way, because when you're zoomed-in it draws on the best parts of Vignelli's diagram -- the completeness of its parallel, stranded routes and the swoopy aesthetics -- and the zoomed-out version echoes the Hertz map's best features, its graspable consolidation of multiple lines into single ones and its … Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps. 1944 NEW YORK CENTRAL Visitor Guide Manhattan Subway Map Hotels Restaurants Ads. Gothamist is a website about New York City news, arts and events, and food, brought to you by New York Public Radio. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. It works on an iPhone, but navigation is hard. The map is as handsome as ever. introduced “The Weekender,” an interactive version of the subway map on its Web site, and commissioned Mr. Vignelli to reinterpret his 1972 design for it. The first map is that by Massimo Vignelli, who simplified the snaking subway system into a clean diagram which traded geographic literality for graphical clarity. But in the quest to make the subway lines simple and clear, it distorted the shape of the city above, turning Central Park, for example, into a square. This Classic Vintage Style poster honors the beauty of this unique art form and evokes the vivid images of simpler times. Rare Original 1940's New York City Subway Corbin Wall Mounted Embossed Key Box . It also distorts geography. His map lasted just seven years before confused passengers convinced the MTA to replace it. 500 signed prints were made available through the … This is also the station where The Ramones shot the cover art for their Subterranean Jungle album. The diagram used clean angled color coded lines for the subway routes devoid of … map in 1972; new Weekender map. This very detailed map of the New York Subway system, was designed by the Italian American designer, Massimo Vignelli. New York City Subway Map. Massimo Vignelli's subway diagram is a hallmark of modernist elegance, distilling New York's huge, complicated transit system into a sequence of straight lines, rainbow colors and black dots. It hangs in the Museum of Modern Art. The map is large and readable, and it expands to fill the screen. The map actually combines characteristics of the two most famous NYC subway maps in history. It’s more modern looking than any of the maps that followed it. (Looking at dozens of blinking dots, you realize how much of the system is under repair.) Gothamist is supported by the American Express Foundation. Click through for photos of the relic, taken earlier today. In fact, it was more than beautiful: it was a nearly canonical piece of abstract graphic design, the work of the celebrated modernist designer Massimo Vignelli, who decided that the only way to make the spaghetti tangle of subway lines comprehensible on paper was to straighten them out. In fact, even in 1939, the year before the unification of the IRT, BMT, and Independent Subway System(IND) into one entity, maps by private businesses were still being printe… Imagine the NYC subway left to meander down a designless track, loosely organized around a crowded and illegible map, or, even worse, marred by a haughty, serifed typeface instead of a clean, democratic Helvetica. A year ago, the M.T.A. Its obsessive clarity turns out to be the perfect basis for digital information. N.B. The Vignelli map never really went away, though. The Vignelli map wasn’t radical—it owed a great deal to the famous London Underground map of 1933 by Henry Beck, an updated version of which is still in use. Now, in what you might call a bow to the ongoing life of the Vignelli map, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has brought Vignelli back to create an interactive map based on his original that shows changes in weekend-subway service. Ad Choices, Sign up for our daily newsletter and get the best of, London Underground map of 1933 by Henry Beck, turned it into an “interactive string instrument. And why has the M.T.A. When designer Massimo Vignelli’s redesigned New York City subway map appeared in 1972, people were less than enthusiastic. To this day, it is still highly regarded by design buffs for its ingenuity and simplicity of a complex system. On August 7, 1972, the Vignelli subway map was published. Vignelli would later use that typeface in a 1972 map of the New York City subway, itself celebrating its 45th anniversary this year; alas, that didn’t go over quite as well. To revisit this article, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved stories. And Central Park was a green rectangle! It reminds me, in fact, of the post-Vignelli subway map—accurate in a literal sense, but with too much information presented in no clear hierarchy of importance, so you end up feeling confused, not enlightened. Classic 1970s Vignelli Subway Map Uncovered At Midtown Subway Station [Gothamist] Massimo Vignelli's enduring NYC subway legacy [Curbed] Next Up In MTA. arrow decided to use the new Vignelli map solely as a weekend amenity? The New Yorker may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. $50.00 + shipping . Now that people at the M.T.A. $19.99 When you select a station, the map zooms in, and a short message pops up. More than iconic, the New York City subway map is a coat of arms for a way of life. This elegant simplification turns the confounding subway into a logical system. First Look: New York’s Digital Subway Map Comes Alive Today $59.99 + $6.99 shipping . These Vignelli subway socks are the chicest portable subway map yet. An updated version of the map appeared in Men’s Vogue in 2008. In August 1972, the MTA unveiled a drastically different subway map designed by Vignelli. It showed the transit system as a series of straight lines that sometimes veered at 45 degree angles, rather than a more realistic tangle of curved paths. And, occasionally, it changes. Vintage 1976 New York Subway Map System Guide Massimo Vignelli MoMA. The Vignelli subway map, which only lasted from 1972 to 1979, is visible at the 57th Street/6th Avenue F train station in Manhattan. The Vignelli subway map, which only lasted from 1972 to 1979, is visible at the 57th Street/6th Avenue F train station in Manhattan. If you want to learn more about Vignelli, you can watch a 30+ minute interview with him below.