Mind the Map

A new exhibition about the history and creativity behind London transport maps, Mind the Map: inspiring art, design and cartography, opened on 18 May at the London Transit Museum. The displays will draw on the Museum’s outstanding map collection to explore the influence of the iconic London Tube map on cartography, art and the public imagination.

The first diagrammatic map of London’s rapid transit network was designed by Harry Beck, a London Underground employee who realized that passengers were not bothered about the geographical accuracy of the city above but simply interested in how to get from one station to another. His idea has been emulated by subway, bus and transit companies around the world – including Massimo Vignelli’s design from 1972.