Kickmap by Eddie Jabbour

The New York Subway map is an extremely overwhelming looking piece of design which makes it very difficult to work out where you want to go to, that’s why Eddie Jabbour, Creative Director at Kick Design NYC, decided to devote years of his own time to redesign the map. Like Harry Beck’s concept, Jabbour placed the needs of the user over geographic precision, removing any irrelevant information and focusing on the routes passengers want to know.


Image from ‘The Information Design Handbook’ by Jenn and Ken Visocky O Grady

Transit maps

Amazing transit maps created by a duo of graphic designers out of Seoul called Zero Per Zero.

These maps have a similar vibe to what I aim to create, but not so complex, more simplistic. These are incredibly busy looking designs, they look great but seem impractical.


Transit Maps from Zero Per Zero public transportation maps infographics city cities


Transit Maps from Zero Per Zero public transportation maps infographics city cities


Transit Maps from Zero Per Zero public transportation maps infographics city cities

New York

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Map transformation

Map Portraits by Matthew Cusick

Matthew Cusick cuts apart maps to create stunning collages and sculptures, including these portraits. Cusick collects maps and then cuts them apart according to colour and shade, pasting them into these compositions on a board backing.

These pieces are amazing, they show that art can truly be made from anything!

Matthew Cusick  Inlaid maps, acrylic on panel

Oceania, 2012

Matthew Cusick  Inlaid maps, acrylic, on panel

Shauna, 2011

Matthew Cusick  Inlaid maps, acrylic, on panel

Course of Empire (Mixmaster 1), 2003

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Head Sculpture by Nikki Rosato

Delicately interwoven like veins, the tiny green, blue and red strips of maps used to create these incredible sculptures are molded around a packing tape form to create a three-dimensional shape. Artist Nikki Rosato removes the land masses, leaving nothing but the roads and rivers behind, reinforcing the paper with wire as necessary.

This is a very nice approach at working with maps, by dissecting certain parts of the maps, you are left with many different parts to play around with, evidently Nikki Rosato played around with this.

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The World by Paula Scher

The names of countries, cities and geographical features like deserts and mountains make up the hand-painted text-based map. “The World is a painting about information overload. It depicts the world as swirling information that is always changing, often inaccurate, while somewhat illuminating. It is expressionistic information.”

A different medium to what I have previously looked at it maps, the way this has been done looks extraordinary, I think this may be due to the artist’s personal handwriting, I feel this makes it even more unique.

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Typographic World Maps by Nancy McCabe

Nothing but text and dreamy splashes of watercolor paint make up these hand-crafted world maps.

I love the minimalist approach, it’s so simple and yet there is so much to see!

Typographic World Map typography maps etsy

Typographic World Map typography maps etsy

Typographic World Map typography maps etsy

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Maps, Reorganized by Armelle Caron

These works take the components that make up a city and lay them out according to size for a more tidy-looking result. The French artist displays the original maps alongside the decontextualised shapes, also providing wooden cut-outs that can be arranged by visitors.

These are like meaningless maps for the obsessive compulsive, and they look amazing! The images lined up almost look like lots of people standing next to each other.

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Patterns in Pieces of Maps by Shannon Rankin

Little discs of maps are used to create installations, collages and drawings “that use the language of maps to explore the connections among geological and biological processes, patterns in nature, geometry and anatomy. Using a variety of distinct styles I intricately cut, score, wrinkle, layer, fold, paint and pin maps to produce revised versions that often become more like the terrains they represent.”

The patterns created are incredible! I really like the idea of cutting up maps and creating new things.

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Loulou and Tummie maps

A selection of illustrated maps by a dutch illsutration duo: Loulou and Tummie.

The colours that have been used blend in beautifully with each design. The softer colours that are incorporated into the country landscapes give them that natural and organic look, where as the more vibrant and pronounced colours used in the city landscapes give it more of a buzz and urban feel.

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Blinking City

BlinkingCity is a project investigating the inadequacy of traditional maps for cityenvironments characterized by fast pace transformation and urban growth. Assoon as the map is done, the city it describes has already gone. We transferredone of the Blinking City pattern, based on a collage of several Hutongneighbourhoods of Beijing, onto a wall of a dilapidated courtyard house inXianyukou district, located in the core of the city.

I really enjoy the vibrancy of this design, the way it’s designed and fitted into a circle makes it actually look like a map too, I feel if it was within another shape such as a rectangle it wouldn’t have the map feel, the circle gives it a sort of globe feel.

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Megatrend Documentation

Megatrends are long-term change processes which have an enormous impact on transformations within a society. Therefore they cannot be considered as a temporary phenomenon. The megatrend documentation presents the eleven, most important megatrends of our time. A booklet for each megatrend contains information based on real data and is supplemented by 18, well-grounded infographics. The poster of the megatrend-map was designed in form of an underground plan in order to interlink various megatrends. This should reflect the complexity and variety of factors which act in the context of a megatrend. This documentation also subserves as a tool-box for companies in their strategic reorientation processes and offers the possibility to expand it with individual supplements using a matrix system.


This design gives me options to consider when it comes to format:

  • Categorisation
  • Poster
  • Leaflet
  • Book
  • Digital

This work uses a map in the same way I wish to use it; to have information presented and showing it’s links.

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Layout of map

After looking at a variety of different maps, I’ve noticed the fonts used and their layout on the map. I need to consider what font will be used, the colour of it, and how it will be set out on the map; will it all be in the same direction, will it follow the lines?

Silesian tram lines map

Designer: Ola Krupa

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Designer: Paulina Urbańska

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Name subway information design

Lemongraphic created the Lemongraphic Subway, a simulation of using names as subway stations. 10 subway routes with different colours were made to experiment with data visualization in creating a subway sitemap information design. Using the process of categorisation, data processing, design elements in creating this unique art work!

This work uses vibrant colours on a dark background which brings out the colour a lot, allowing for an even easier read, if I saw this from a distance I would be pulled in and want to investigate. Colour options will definitely be considered when creating my own map.

Here’s a video of the layers of the map:

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Berlin Subway Map Redesign

Tom Hayes redesigned the Berlin rail system map which contains both over ground and underground lines. Central to the map a circular and direct shape is used, then branching all of the other lines through dissecting the centre of this circle. This allows for the map to be more iconic and memorable. The logo and iconic elements were also recreated.

Hayes’ has adapted Henry Beck’s original design, putting a twist on the geography of the map. With this work as inspiration I will create a map with similar elements. I have no geographical map to actually follow, this allows me to shape the map in any way I want.

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