London Underground Maps: Art, Design and Cartography
Art & design

London Underground Maps: Art, Design and Cartography

Code 177344
Reviews (1) 5 out of 5
To support the Mind the Map exhibition, London Underground Maps: Art, Design and Cartography is a must for lovers of art, design and cartography as well as the history of London.
About This Item

To support the Mind the Map exhibition which finished in October 2012, London Underground Maps: Art, Design and Cartography places the Tube map and early decorative poster maps within the context of popular culture and social history.

By documenting and guiding us on the journeys we make every day, maps influence the way we navigate and identify with our surroundings. The Underground , London Transport, and its successor Transport for London, have produced and inspired maps which are navigational, decorative forms of publicity and works of art. This book, which draws on the rich collections of the London Transport Museum, sets out to explore this unique form of visual communication.

Covering the period 1900 to the present day, Claire Dobbin's fascinating narrative provides a chronological account of the mapping of London's Underground. Starting with the magnificent early twentieth century decorative maps of MacDonald Gill, the evolution of London's diagrammatic Underground maps, introduced by Harry Beck's iconic 1931 design, is expertly told. The legacy of Beck's inspiring design is highlighted through selected maps, art works, posters and merchandise.

Drawing in design, cartographic, art, social and transport history, London Underground Maps provides a fascinating account of the capital's innovative approach to decoding and promoting its complex underground network. An accessible narrative, coupled with first-class imagery, makes this book a must for lovers of art, design and cartography as well as the history of London.

Author: Claire Dobbins

Pages: 136

Publisher: Lund Humphries

Format: Hardback

5 out of 5
A hardback book par excellence, well I certainly think so. This is the first book review where I was hooked from the start. The author, Claire Dobbin, has done an exemplary job with over 100 years of LT maps to condense into just 136 pages. The book is split neatly into 3 main chapters, a 150 year timeline (1863-2013), a page of suggestions for further reading and an Index. The reproduced maps are finely done with some excellent enlargements which one can take many hours pouring over such is the fine detail to be observed. This is particularly so in Chapter 1 where some of the McDonald Gill works are enlarged. Chapter 2 moves us on from the 1800's to the iconic Harry Beck maps of the early 1930's, and through the 2nd World War up to almost the present day. The final Chapter explores the use to which the Tube map has been put by the marketing folk. This is on everything from socks to hats, and everywhere in between. Many foreign railway systems have copied the iconic Beck map and I suppose there can be no finer tribute to Harry Beck than the tube map becoming an Icon of the London Tube. A really absorbing book.
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