London mini metro map

Mini Metros

Peter Dovak — a graphic designer and self-confessed ‘lifelong transit nerd’ — has shrunken and simplified 220 metro and light rail maps from around the world to produce this fun poster.

Mini Metros, by Peter Dovak

In a blog post about the designs, he compares some of his minified designs to the original transit maps. Below you can see Seoul, one of the more complex examples.

Peter sells his designs as posters, magnets, mugs and more.


See also: Johnston100: a modernisation of TfL’s classic London Underground typeface

Craft and creativity

Mini Metros: Peter Dovak’s minified transport maps

“All of the cities in the project had the same requirements: they had to fit in a 120px circle (with 10px of padding), the lines had to be 3px wide with a minimum of another 3px between the next parallel line, and all diagonals had to be 45-degrees.” — Peter Dovak

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See How an Insane 7-Circle Roundabout Actually Works

Wired: Your first thought upon seeing Swindon’s ‘magic roundabout’ might be: man, the Brits have really lost the plot lately. But this thing—which is actually seven roundabouts in one—has been working for 60 years.

You just point your vehicle towards where you want to go, yeild to cars already in the midst of the ‘magic’, then ‘brexit’ on the other side.

See also: The untold story of the British Rail logo

The first fully adjustable car rig that creates photoreal CG cars.

The Mill: The Blackbird

The Mill BLACKBIRD® is able to quickly transform its chassis to match the exact length and width of almost any car. Powered by an electric motor, it can be programmed to imitate acceleration curves and gearing shifts and the adjustable suspension alters ride height, rigidity and dampening to replicate typical driving characteristics.

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Poster by Magpie Studio

Monotype introduces Johnston100

A contemporary update to Transport for London’s Johnston typeface, marking the centennial of its use across the London bus, rail and Underground systems.

First commissioned in 1913, British artist and calligrapher Edward Johnston was tasked with creating lettering with “bold simplicity” that would have clear roots in tradition, but wholeheartedly belong to the 20th century.

“Our brief to Monotype was to go back to the original principles of Johnston, to reflect on the way the font is now, and see what we might have lost in its 100-year journey. We didn’t want to redesign it, but we did know that certain things, for various reasons, had changed. Some of the lower case letters, for example had lost their uniqueness.”
TfL Head of Design Jon Hunter

“As social media has become more important, hashtags and ‘@’ signs are more important – Johnston never designed those because they were never needed. Mainly we wanted to make Johnston relevant and fit for today’s purpose.”

Johnston100 - Mind the gap

Design Week: Over the last 100 years, Johnston became narrower and more mechanical as functionality took precedence over design. Monotype has opted for a wider face, which better reflects Edward Johnston’s original drawings and gives it more of a relaxed feel.

“It was very important to TfL that we add the extra-thin weights, because of today’s digital trends. We were able to capture the contemporary trend and the fashion of having something very light and very elegant, but because we are still using the original structures, we were able to maintain the soul of the typeface.”
Nadine Chahine, UK type director at Monotype


Designology

I visited the Designology expedition at the London Transport Museum a few weeks ago and took some photographs of the design sketches for the 70’s New Johnston typeface.

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Craft and creativity

Johnston100: a modernisation of TfL’s classic London Underground typeface

“Johnston100 will be rolled out by TfL starting July 2016. Initially it will be used for printed material such as tube maps and posters, but over time the typeface will be used within TfL’s trains and station signage, including London’s new Crossrail Elizabeth Line – scheduled to open in 2018.” — Monotype

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These weird and wonderful bike designs were produced by product designer Gianluca Gimini, based on designs he had solicited from friends and strangers over several years…

“I would walk up to them with a pen and a sheet of paper asking that they immediately draw me a men’s bicycle, by heart. Soon I found out that when confronted with this odd request most people have a very hard time remembering exactly how a bike is made.”

He sees these designs as proof that sometimes our brain allows us to believe that we understand something when we really don’t.

“There is an incredible diversity of new typologies emerging from these crowd-sourced and technically error-driven drawings.”

This anecdotal fact is amusing too: “Some diversities are gender driven. Nearly 90% of drawings in which the chain is attached to the front wheel (or both to the front and the rear) were made by females. On the other hand, while men generally tend to place the chain correctly, they are more keen to over-complicate the frame when they realize they are not drawing it correctly.”

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Craft and creativity

Velocipedia: Bikes drawn hastily from memory, realised by a product designer

“The most unintelligible drawing has also the most unintelligible handwriting. It was made by a doctor.”

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Toyota Setsuna logo

The Toyota Setsuna (Japanese for “moment”) is a roadster concept car made from cedar and birch and built using a traditional Japanese carpentry technique known as “okuriari” that doesn’t involve nails or screws but relies on perfectly carved joints to hold the components together.

The Verge: Toyota is thinking of the Setsuna as something you’d want to pass down to your kids — not as a beater first car, but as a family heirloom.

“As a family accrues time and experiences together with their car, lovingly caring for it and passing it on to the next generation, that car will acquire a new type of value that only the members of that family can appreciate.”

The boat-like body is made up of 86 hand-crafted panels of Japanese cedar across a frame of birch.

The company notes that wood’s characteristics change over time, depending on the temperature and humidity levels it is exposed to and how well it’s taken care of. The idea is that as the Setsuna ages, it’ll change and pick up the personalities of its owners and the lives they led. To that end, the car has a “100-year meter” embedded inside of it — a tracker for your grandchildren or great-grandchildren to know how old this machine is.

Telegraph: The use of metal has been kept to a minimum in the engineered parts of the open-top roadster, which is powered by six batteries that give it a range of 16 miles and a top speed of a rather lumbering 28 mph.

Toyota Setsuna plans

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Craft and creativity

Toyota Setsuna

Unfortunately, the Setsuna, which will be on display for five days from April 12 [2016] at the Japan Pavilion at Milan Design Week, is not authorised to be driven on public roads. — Telegraph

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Fury Road poster

If there’s any movie that managed to deliver on the intensity and sustained visual interest of its trailer, it is Mad Max: Fury Road. For no particular reason–other than I really wanted to because I think about them all the time–here are the trailers for that film again.

Enjoy ten minutes of trailer perfection.

Comic-Con First Look — 27 Jul 2014

Official Theatrical Teaser Trailer — 10 Dec 2014

Official Main Trailer — 31 Mar 2015

Official Retaliate Trailer — 29 Apr 2015

(Personally, that final trailer is my favourite.)

See also: The editing of Mad Max: Fury Road, Visual effects breakdown for Mad Max: Fury Road and all the other posts on this blog tagged ‘trailers’.

Light-based media

Mad Max Fury Road: a trailer retrospective

“From director George Miller, originator of the post-apocalyptic genre and mastermind behind the legendary “Mad Max” franchise, comes “Mad Max: Fury Road,” a return to the world of the Road Warrior, Max Rockatansky.”

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Max Touhey photographs JFK’s abandoned TWA Terminal which has been off limits to the public since 2001 and is set to undergo redevelopment into a boutique hotel.

JFK's TWA Terminal

Even when I’m really excited to shoot a space, if it stands the hype the excitement still drops off at a certain point. But TWA is different. You can stand in 100 different places and still be in awe.
Max Touhey, Photographer

(via Daring Fireball)

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Craft and creativity

JFK’s abandoned TWA terminal

“The opening of the TWA Flight Center in all its jet-age splendor marked a shift in the history of air travel in which middle-class Americans could now afford to fly. Clearly, the terminal’s heyday coincided with the golden age of flying, in which travelers were restricted neither by economic class nor security concerns.” — Curbed

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Narita International Airport Terminal 3

Narita International Airport Terminal 3 is for the exclusive use of low-cost carriers, and was constructed with a budget of approximately half of what a project this size would usually get.

“To cut costs, we opted not to install the typical moving walkways or illuminated signs. Instead, to offer an exciting walking experience that is easy on the feet, we implemented running tracks used for track and field, and added signage for user-friendly guidance.”

“The key to the architecture and design is “more than 2 into 1.” Consolidating two or more functionalities into one in pursuit of economic reasonability.”

“It would be our great honor if Narita International Airport Terminal 3 is frequently used and forever loved by economically savvy travelers.”
prty.jp/terminal3

(via)

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Craft and creativity

Narita International Airport Terminal 3

成田空港の第3ターミナルは、LCC(ローコストキャリア)専用。

だからこそ、建築・デザイン面で徹底したローコスト空港を目指しました。
このターミナルの建設予算は、通常のおよそ半分です。

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Old-style British Rail logo at Sevenoaks station

The arrows of indecision. The barbed wire. The crow’s feet. In the 50 years since he drew up one of the UK’s most recognisable symbols, designer Gerry Barney has probably heard them all. But he doesn’t mind.

The story of the British Rail symbol began in 1960 when a 21-year-old Barney successfully applied for a job as a lettering artist at the prestigious Design Research Unit (DRU) in London, and quickly established a close working relationship with the studio’s co-founder, Milner Gray. Despite being forty years older than his new employee, Gray seemed to have found a kindred spirit in Barney – he became the first person in the studio permitted to work on the head designer’s drawings, and the first to address him directly by his first name.

“I was a lettering artist, I wasn’t a designer.”

“The designers at DRU were given the brief and, to my knowledge, it didn’t satisfy Milner. So he threw it open to the rest of the studio, six or seven people. I just happened to think of this symbol.”

British Rail identity

Appropriately enough, Barney first sketched the idea ‘on the back of an envelope’ while taking the Tube to work. “When I got to the office I drew it up,” he says. “It was exactly how I drew it the first time, with straighter lines. I just had to formalise it.”

“In the BR [British Rail] symbol, the lines aren’t all the same thickness: where the angled bars meet the horizontal ones they will appear thicker at the join, so they actually widen slightly going out. But that comes from lettering, where you have to pay attention to the counters; the spaces that are left, not the thing you’re drawing. They work together.”

References

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Craft and creativity

The untold story of the British Rail logo

Writing of the project in the pages of Design magazine in 1965, Robert Spark reflected on some of the basic visual elements that DRU created for British Rail: the symbol, the logotype and a palette of house colours. These elements would then be applied to every part of the railway system, from locomotives and rolling stock, to stations and offices, signposts, posters and publicity material, uniforms and cutlery. Even by the standards of today’s multimedia applications, it was quite an undertaking.

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Shape of things to come

How the design firm behind the Xbox built the bike of the future

Denny concept bike

From The Verge: Teague was enlisted to design a new kind of bike by Oregon Manifest, a non-profit dedicated to making the world think differently about bikes.

Oregon Manifest’s three pillars for the competition were safety, security, and convenience. Teague decided convenience mattered most:

“You don’t have to think about gears. They’re like go-karts, you just go. It wasn’t even really a choice for us.”
Roger Jackson, creative director at Teague

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Wired: The Most Insane Truck Ever Built and the 4-Year-Old Who Commands It

World's biggest RV

Bran Ferren (61) is trying to create the same environment for Kira – his four year old daughter – as he had growing up: one of constant, boundless learning. But he is not the type to simply buy her a globe and a few reference books. Ferren is a man who builds things—huge, intricate, brazenly theatrical things. Fittingly, he has embarked on a childhood-enrichment project so lavish, ornate, and over-the-top it makes even the most aggressive tiger mom seem tame.

Around the time Kira was born, Ferren had an idea. What if he built an all-new, bigger and better expedition vehicle? No, more than that, what if he made the ultimate adventure truck, the very platonic ideal of such a thing—which he could outfit for a family of three?

Shape of things to come

The KiraVan: The most insane RV ever built

Bran Ferren is a man who builds things—huge, intricate, brazenly theatrical things. Fittingly, he has embarked on a childhood-enrichment project so lavish, ornate, and over-the-top it makes even the most aggressive tiger mom seem tame.

Gallery

The Pedway: Elevating London

…a documentary on the post-war redevelopment in the City of London – focusing on the attempt to build an ambitious network of elevated walkways through the city. The film explores why the ‘Pedway’ scheme was unsuccessful and captures the abandoned remains that, unknown to the public, still haunt the square mile.

What really struck me about this documentary was how well the supporting stock footage and photography was researched and used. I never felt like I was just watching filler material just put in for something to look at.

Darius McCollum
Humans and other animals

The man who loves the New York subway too much

Darius McCollum (48) loves New York City’s transit system.

“I just love everything about it. I love the atmosphere, I love the lights, I love the signals. I love the fact that it’s moving all the time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There’s nothing negative I can say about the transit system.”

Darius McCollum has been arrested 29 times over the past 30 years for a series of transit-related crimes ranging from impersonating subway workers to stealing buses.

Mr. McCollum traces his fascination with trains to when he was stabbed at school at the age of 12. Afraid to return to class, he rode the subways all day and befriended a motorman. He ran errands, played cards and chess, and cleaned the dispatcher’s office and the token booths. Eventually, the motormen allowed him to conduct “yard moves,” driving the trains, alone, from the 179th Street terminal to a nearby MTA yard to be cleaned and serviced.

In 1981, young Darius operated an E train six stops from 34th Street to the World Trade Center without the conductor or passengers reporting anything amiss.

Mr. McCollum said he believed the incident “blackballed” him from employment with the city’s transit system.

His lawyer, Sally Butler, said Mr. McCollum’s well-chronicled acts were a result of uncontrollable impulses attributable to what is commonly referred to as Asperger’s syndrome, which mental-health authorities now call autism-spectrum disorder.

A fascinating but sad story from The Wall Street Journal. In a slightly different world, he might have been the Transit Authority’s top employee. More on Wikipedia.

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