Color Blind Subway Map

Posted inThe Daily Heller
Thumbnail for Bill Blackbeard's Final Splash Panel

The New York City subway is garnering a lot of attention lately. Paul Shaw’s superb book on subway graphics started the ball rolling. Now, Brooklyn based designers David Heasty and Stefanie Weigler (of Triboro Design) have produced a new New York City subway map printed in a single color: Florescent red, of course. As Heasty notes, “The new design strips away the familiar color-coding of the subway system routes while still maintaining a level of hierarchy and functionality. All lines of the map are forced to conform to an underlying grid of 45 and 90 degree angles, yet surprisingly, the landmass contours here are more true-to-life than on the MTA map. The florescent red color becomes an unpredictable variable, as legibility can change completely under different lighting conditions. The neon effect can be intense and retina-burning under certain lamps, washed out and unreadable in other environments, or glow otherworldly under black-lights.”

The map embraces a dual (and seemingly contradictory) agenda, “offering practical and aesthetic improvements to the existing subway map while simultaneously subverting these improvements through the absurd adherence to a single color,” Heasty adds. “In this way the map reflects the often contradictory experience of New York City, the rigid systems and grids constantly interrupted by the unpredictable realities of a metropolis, the intermingling forces of order and chaos, and the city’s visual communications frequent inability to make sense of it all.”

How do you like it Massimo?

The map has been printed in a limited edition (offset lithography) run of only 300 pieces. At 45 x 58 inches the poster is the same size as the large MTA Subway maps that are located at entrances to New York Subway stations. For more information on the map or to obtain copies, email: