Here’s a question from Didier that’s a little outside the normal boundaries of this blog, but I think I’ve got a couple of ideas on the subject…
Hi Cam, What is the best way to hang a map on a wall? I don’t really want to frame it, but I don’t think pins would be/look great. How do you hang maps on your walls? Thanks and your work is amazing.
Transit Maps says:
Thanks for the kind words, Didier! Framing a map always looks awesome, but it can get expensive quickly, especially if you’re including a matte or framing a large piece. You’re also right that pins aren’t the nicest way to attach a map to a wall: they put holes in the paper and look pretty ugly, too.
If you’re able to use screws in your walls (if you’re renting, you may or may not be able to do this, depending on your lease/landlord), then I highly recommend that you head to IKEA and pick up a pack of Digitnet curtain wire. It’s basically 16 feet (5 metres) of strong wire that you can cut to the required length and then secure to your wall with the supplied fittings. It’s meant to hold up lightweight curtains, so it’s definitely more than strong enough to support a few posters. Then, just get some nice clips that you can hang over the wire to hang your maps from. The image above shows this setup in my house: it works perfectly, looks great, and only takes about 15 minutes to set up.
(For those who are wondering, the poster is one of Andrew “Vanshnookenraggen” Lynch’s fantastic New York Subway Line maps.)
If you can’t use screws, then you’ll need to find a way to secure the poster to the wall that doesn’t show from the front: this could be adhesive strips, Blu-Tack, double-sided tape, or even the old-fashioned loop of packing tape. If you do use one of these, then I strongly advise that you first apply a strip of packing tape to each corner of the back of your poster first. This will both strengthen the poster and protect it from any residue left behind by the adhesion method.
Any other map-mounting ideas?
I’m very pleased to announce that my Interstates as a Subway Map and U.S. Highways as a Subway Map posters are once again available for purchase directly through my website this holiday season.
I’ve even made some revisions to the Interstate map to bring it up to date. These include the addition of the brand new Interstate 2 in Texas, a new segment of I-49 in Missouri and a new section of I-74 in North Carolina.
The posters are 36” wide by 24” deep, and are once again superbly printed by Wallblank. I’ve been working with them for four years now, and they always do a great job for me. They’re ready to get printing, so orders will be on their way to you quickly!
As previously, each poster is available individually for just $39 plus shipping — but you can also order a Combo Pack: one of each poster for just $68 plus shipping (a $10 saving).
Please visit my personal site to place your order.
Please reblog to spread the word!
Unofficial Map: Minimalist Glasgow Subway by Verboten Creative
A system as simple as Glasgow’s (one loop of track with a mere 15 stations) lends itself well to a minimalist design approach. Indeed, the current official map is pretty darn simple itself.
However, this neat little two-colour poster from Glasgow-based creative agency, Verboten, definitely takes a very different approach to that minimalism. It eschews any attempt at geography, dispensing with the River Clyde completely (although the gaps between the groups of stations give away its location for those in the know). Red lines lead way from large station dots to the corresponding station names, as well as a handy list of nearby points of interest (but not connections to other rail services).
For me, these connecting lines are the weakest point of the poster, being overly busy in some cases (Bridge St, for example) for a “minimalist” poster. I’m also not fond of the way that the lines for Cessnock and Kinning Park cross over each other: Cessnock could easily fit under Ibrox and negate the need for the crossover at all.
The “G” logo is a clever idea: reminiscent of the new “S” logo that the subway has adopted without being derivative of it. I just wish the “G” was centred a little better in the circle (it seems too far to the left to me).
Our rating: Despite my minor quibbles, this is still a very attractive interpretation of this venerable transit system. I especially like the interesting colour palette: soft, yet still dynamic at the same time. Three stars.
Historical Poster: London Transport Jubilee Line Opening, 1979
Okay, here’s just one more Tube-map themed poster (for now). This one’s a little more contemporary than the others I’ve featured recently, dating from early 1979. The cheerful little Tube train — which looks like a model that’s been photographed, rather than an illustration — is actually a pretty reasonable stand-in for the geographical layout of the new line, which then ran from Stanmore to a new Charing Cross station (later extensions mean that the Jubilee Line now bypasses Charing Cross entirely on its way to Stratford).
However, it does seem to be a bit of a cheat to say “And you don’t have to go on the Bakerloo (Line)”, when — prior to the Jubilee Line’s opening — every station between Stanmore and Baker Street was on that line (see this map from 1974).
Aesthetically, there is a bit of dissonance between the tightly-spaced 1970s-era type (looks like Franklin Gothic for the headings) and the classic look of the Johnston Sans used for the station names, but that’s just the way things often looked back then.
Quick trivia fact of the day: The Jubilee Line was originally going to be called the Fleet Line — after the River Fleet that now runs underneath London — until Conservative Party promises during the Greater London Council elections of 1977 caused it to be renamed after the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, even though the line opened two years after the actual event. The Fleet Line’s proposed battleship grey colour (from the naval definition of “fleet”) was modified to a lighter silver/grey to fit the “Silver Jubilee” theme.
(Source: TimeOut’s London Blog — Top 5 Novelty Tube Maps)
Historical Poster: “Be Map Conscious”, London Transport, 1945
Here’s another beautiful old London Underground poster that features the Tube map, apparently produced to help servicemen unfamiliar with London get around. The poster, which basically acts as a Tube Map for Dummies guide, was placed next to the map in stations, with the abstract guard pointing towards it. The “tear-away” section at the bottom right shows a slightly modified version (angles aren’t at 45 degrees, the Aldwych spur is missing) of the central part of the map, which would have been this 1943 edition.
The artist was Polish-born Jan de Witt (1907-1991), signed as “Lewitt-Him” on the poster.
(Source: Creative Review)
Design for Shopping poster for London Transport, 1935
Design by O’Keeffe
via Mikey Ashworth
You just can’t beat 1930s London Underground posters - a superb mix of art, design and branding. This one’s a real beauty! Of interest is that it playfully echoes the look of Beck’s Tube Diagram, then only two years old.
Historical Map: LNER Northumberland and Durham Quad Royal Poster, 1934
Painted by prolific transport poster artist Montague B. Black, this lovely poster shows the services of the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) in England’s north east in 1934. The view stretches from Middlesborough all the up the Northumberland coast to the Scottish Borders and beyond. Each city is painted in imprecise but evocative detail, as is Hadrian’s Wall, shown stretching from Carlisle to Newcastle across the centre of the map. The late afternoon colour palette employed is particularly beautiful.
Definitely worth clicking through to Flickr to view this large.
If you’ve been thinking of picking up one of my transit map posters, now might be a good time: Society6 is offering free shipping on prints worldwide until next Sunday, January 27.
Here’s some direct links to some of the posters I offer:
As always, I highly recommend purchasing only the X-LARGE or LARGE versions of these prints: they’re designed as large format posters and type may become too small to be legible at sizes smaller than these.
London’s iconic tube map is transformed into a pit-stop journey through classic styles of storytelling, with the individual tube lines turned into genres and sub genres of literature. The depths of the Northern Line are made over into the aptly named Horror Line. The Bakerloo Line coursing past Sherlock Holmes’s Baker Street becomes, of course, the Crime & Mystery Line. And the pink trajectory of the Hammersmith & City is converted to the Romance Line. Each Storyline features a range of illustrations bringing to life both classics and mavericks from that theme, with a genre-defining work lurking at each journey’s end. Stations falling on intersecting Storylines get a sub-genre cross over. Many many days and weeks were spent researching and crafting this piece.
Normally, I’m not a huge fan of the whole “let’s use a well known transit map and replace the station names with something else” thing, but I’m going to make an exception for this stunning poster by artist Anna Burles. This is beautifully done, and — for once — the interchanges between the genre/route lines have actually been thought about properly.