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Writing on Map Design: Newsletter Archive

My monthly newsletter includes general news, research news, maps in the media, forthcoming events, and a map of the month. You can subscribe by sending me an email (include a brief greeting so that I know you are human).

Newsletters are archived here in order of publication, most recent first, going back to the very first one in November 2013. For each month, click on the newsletter for a full pdf file, click on the image to the right of the newsletter for a higher-resolution jpeg file of the map of the month.


2017

September 2014 (Number 47)

Map of the month: Something to hang on the wall
A famous Arts & Crafts design gets the artistic licence treatment


August 2014 (Number 46)

Map of the month: Making sense of the Southern Electric
The world’s most (over-)complicated network becomes a deranged tapestry


July 2014 (Number 45)

Map of the month: What shape is Paris?
A less distorting concentric map of Paris, but will this one be popular?


June 2014 (Number 44)

Map of the month: The five deadly sins of map design
Understanding good design by deliberately creating bad design


May 2014 (Number 43)

Map of the month: Politics versus pragmatics
A political design classic reinvestigated


April 2014 (Number 42)

Map of the month: Advance planning for Vienna
Official Viennese maps fail to impress, so I make one for myself


March 2014 (Number 41)

Map of the month: Art Nouveau Paris Metro
Another project repays slow development


February 2017 (Number 40)

Map of the month: Design on the Orient Express (Part 2)
1928: The earliest schematic I know with straight lines and route colour-coding


January 2017 (Number 39)

Map of the month: Coping with Adversity
How much topographical distortion is needed to squeeze a map into a wrongly-shaped panel?


2016

December 2016 (Number 38)

Map of the month: Modernism in its Spiritual Home?
The Vignelli New York City Subway Map style suits Berlin well


November 2016 (Number 37)

Map of the month: Seasonal Decoration
The seasonal theme continues for the Essex Sunshine Coast


October 2016 (Number 36)

Map of the month: Minimalising Scandinavian minimalism
I finally get round to fixing a map that has been irritating me


September 2016 (Number 35)

Map of the month: Brussels round in circles, back again
A successful design is brought up to date


August 2016 (Number 34)

Map of the month: More explorations of rotated tetralinear designs
A powerful, effective design technique for a compatible city


July 2016 (Number 33)

Map of the month: Homage to a long-lost design
1930s Art Deco splendour captures attention at a recent exhibition


June 2016 (Number 32)

Map of the month: De Stijl
A Brussels exhibition leads to a map inspired by van Doesburg and Mondrian


May 2016 (Number 31)

Map of the month: Köln ist eine Kreisstadt (Cologne is a circular city)
Is Köln the world’s most suited city for a concentric circles map?


April 2016 (Number 30)

Map of the month: It’s the priorities that shape the design
Two independently-produced maps; similar priorities yield similar configurations


March 2016 (Number 29)

Map of the month: No network too small to feature as a decorative map
Just three lines and ten stations needed to allow the detail to speak for itself


February 2016 (Number 28)

Map of the month: Simple networks that are hard work to map
Sometimes it is the small networks that are troublesome to get right


January 2016 (Number 27)

Map of the month: Porthole on chaos
There is a right way, and a wrong way, to use circles to show the Paris Metro.


2015

December 2015 (Number 26)

Map of the month: The Chicago El network inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright
A decorative map celebrating the stained glass and style of the master architect.


November 2015 (Number 25)

Map of the month: New York updated ... with curves and geography?
A rare event, expansion of the New York Subway, causes me to rethink an old design.


October 2015 (Number 24)

Map of the month: Milan explorations (Part 2)
Elegant curves for the Italian network?


September 2015 (Number 23)

Map of the month: Milan explorations (Part 1)
How could the style capital of the world have such an unstylish metro map?!


August 2015 (Number 22)

Map of the month: Topographically reasonable maps of Berlin
People who want geographically accurate maps of Berlin get what they asked for.


July 2015 (Number 21)

Map of the month: A trip to the seaside
An unusually warm and sunny British summer inspires Art Deco and Art Nouveau railway posters.


June 2015 (Number 20)

Map of the month: Purely decorative for Glasgow
A map that is intended to be beautiful rather than usable:
the Glasgow Suburban rail network inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.


May 2015 (Number 19)

Map of the month: Creating a London Underground night network diagram
Exciting new services require an exciting new map to publicise them,
but is this design pretty rather than usable?


April 2015 (Number 18)

Map of the month: An old angle on Paris
Using rotated octolinear angles in an attempt to match the design rules with the network structure.


March 2015 (Number 17)

Map of the month: New York Subway map competition winner recreated
A guest map: a lost design originally created by Raleigh D’Adamo and now reconstructed
from a photograph. Researched by Peter B Lloyd, implemented by Reka Komoli.


February 2015 (Number 16)

Map of the month: The ugliest London Underground map in the world?
As voted for by my newsletter readers, except for the ones who liked it.


January 2015 (Number 15)

Map of the month: Bending the rules to fit a city
Two Barcelona maps highlight ways of adapting concentric circle design rules to match the shape of a city.


2014

December 2014 (Number 14)

Map of the month: Lampooning schematic maps
Paris Metro in lollipop sticks to make fun of a poorly optimised design.


November 2014 (Number 13)

Map of the month: Step by step in Boston (Part 3)
My Boston marathon concludes with some left-field designs and interesting new discoveries.


October 2014 (Number 12)

Map of the month: Step by step in Boston (Part 2)
Continuing the design sequence to explore the properties of the Boston rail network:
the low linearity maps.


September 2014 (Number 11)

Map of the month: Step by step in Boston (Part 1)
Creating a design sequence to explore the properties of the Boston rail network.


Aug 2014 (Number 10)

Map of the month: A new Angle on Vignelli’s iconic design
Using 30° and 60° diagonals to straighten out the New York subway.


July 2014 (Number 9)

Map of the month: It seemed like a good idea at the time, it always does
An apparently simple information design idea collapses under its own weight.


June 2014 (Number 8)

Map of the month: A misunderstood design
In a tribute to Massimo Vignelli, his original 1972 New York Subway diagram
is updated to show current services and future construction projects.


May 2014 (Number 7)

Map of the month: Design on the Orient Express
A stunning design from Italy in 1938, showing the whole of Europe as a schematised map.


April 2014 (Number 6)

Map of the month: Gang-ravaged New York meets Cold-war Berlin
A colourful Berlin S-Bahn map from the East, with more than a nod towards
the Vignelli New York Subway map. Unfortunately never published.


March 2014 (Number 5)

Map of the month: Lightning fails to strike twice in the same place in London
In an attempt to understand the popularity and visual power of concentric circles maps,
I create a hexagonal design that achieves neither.


February 2014 (Number 4)

Map of the month: The first schematic network map. Not London or Berlin, but Paris?
An early drawing of a Paris Metro schematic by Jean Dry;
one of the first network schematic maps ever devised?


January 2014 (Number 3)

Map of the month: Not another circles map!
The London Underground drawn using only circular arcs.
A pretty design, but perhaps not one for everyday use.


2013

December 2013 (Number 2)

Map of the month: Tube Map in Tinsel< br> A festive design for Christmas.


November 2013 (Number 1)

Map of the month: Wien in einer kreisförmigen Zukunft (Vienna in a Circular Future)
A very orderly concentric circles creation showing planned U-Bahn lines for Vienna.