There were also plenty of missteps along the way, most of them not Beck’s fault. The Jubilee line opened in 1979, with a major extension completed in 1999, bringing the map towards its current total of 270 tube stations. The Tube map (sometimes called the London Underground Map or the TfL Services Map) is a schematic transport map of the lines, stations and services of the London Underground, known colloquially as "the Tube", hence the map's name. As maps of the time took their cue from historical precedent, it was thought that these geographic distances had to be represented to scale. 112 London Overground stations are shown too, along with 45 DLR stations. © Our Place 2020 |  Powered by CloudCanvas. Perhaps the biggest change has been the addition of extra services. In 1931, Harry Beck, a young engineering draughtsman who had joined the Underground Group’s Signal Engineer’s Office in 1925, came up with a solution. Garbutt can also be credited with the familiar ‘bottle’ shape of the Circle line. Even then, Stingemore wasn’t able to fit in the furthest reaches of the tube system: the Bakerloo, Metropolitan and District lines are all cut off at the edges of the map. The man who created the tube map we know today was Harry Beck. "Beck's map was revolutionary in its simplicity," Sam Mullins, director of the London Transport Museum, said at Monday's unveiling ceremony, which coincided with the Underground… With a spirit of modernisation in the air, the time was right to see how the public would respond to Beck’s radical ‘diagram’. 10 bulbs to buy and plant now, How Britain’s allotment keepers have been feeding food banks through lockdown. In stock. Feeling a sense of ownership and averse to seeing his design changed by third parties, Beck fought a long legal battle with London Transport. Over the years, lines have been added including the Docklands Light Railway, the Overground network, Crossrail and the Emirates Air Line cable-car linking Greenwich Peninsula with Royal Docks. Harry Beck with his London Underground map. Technically it’s not really a map but a diagram, as it doesn’t reflect the real geography of London at all accurately – but its clear, colour-coded lines and friendly curves shape the way most of us visualise the capital. Stingemore’s work was clever, but its impact was far from earth-shattering: the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL), which operated the tube, continued to publish large geographical maps alongside handy pocket-sized copies of his diagram. They were, however, neither comprehensive nor even particularly useful. Over the thirty years, Harry Beck consistently updated and revised his original London Underground map. One of the most famous images associated with the Tube is the colourful map of all of the lines. Added some new details and modified some inaccuracies. Pandemic takes toll on UK retirement plans of over50s, Booming property prices are good news for many over-50s, Eating well while working at home: Step away from the biscuits and never dine at your desk, Thrill of the chill: The best outdoor winter swimming spots in Britain, This year’s top supermarket mince pies have been announced – and the winner may surprise you, Pumpkin farmers are reporting roaring sales as people fall in love with the versatile squash, You either love it, or hate it…Marmite: A potted history of the British-born spread, The cream of the crops: Autumn sowing in the veggie patch, Add zing to your spring! Interchanges, for some reason, became diamond-shaped. But he retained an interest in London’s transport system, and with time on his hands, set about on a project to “tidy up” the tube map by – as he would later recall – “straightening the lines, experimenting with diagonals and evening out the distance between stations”. This design by Harry Beck proves a great talking point for many as they discover stations closed and routes changed over the last 80 years. This version of the map also has an uncomfortably slanted feel, arising from the need to squeeze in a lengthy eastward extension to the Central line. The Jubilee line opened in 1979, with a major extension completed in 1999, bringing the map towards its current total of 270 tube stations. Beck was understandably disappointed by what had become of his design – and angered at the infringement of his copyright. Harry Beck's 1933 London Underground map is a design classic. Although Beck’s map had been entirely a personal endeavour, he was encouraged by friends to send it in to UERL for consideration. "I am not aware of any undertaking by my predecessors," insisted Hutchison. Jul 31, 2013 - Mark Bijak - Online portfolio of UK based Apparel Graphic Designer, Illustrator & Hand Letterer Mark Bijak. But this wasn’t the end of the board’s meddling. Maps of the London Underground, were geographic representations, although there were attempts by map designers to simplify the route maps. The map wasn’t always so accessible. The result, published in 1933, is instantly familiar. An exclusive poster commissioned by Transport for London featuring a vintage underground map. The man who created the tube map we know today was Harry Beck. Station names had to be written in small text, often at odd angles so they could be crammed in between awkwardly twisting lines. Originally distributed as a folding pocket-card, the first Beck map came with a slightly cautious explanation on the front: “A new design for an old map. It showed outlying stations such as Edgware and Richmond appearing to be only a short distance from the centre of town, promoting a sense of community between inner London and the suburbs. However, from 1960 on-wards his contributions were decidedly unwelcomed as the newly hired publicity manager for the London Underground took over. Required fields are marked *. Add to Wish List Add to Compare. The fact that there were so many Underground maps before Harry Beck’s famous ‘diagram’ of 1931 – the blueprint of today’s maps – was proof of a problem that took many years and a great deal of ingenuity to solve. It isn’t only artists who have been inspired by the map. Garbutt can also be credited with the familiar 'bottle' shape of the Circle line: Almost all the features of the modern map can be see here, and a short process of evolution leads to the diagram we know today. If the design alone does not whisk you wistfully back to a former time in one's life, the fact that this version features the original 1933 version of the London Underground map, will. Beck did his best to comply, but the result was not a thing of beauty: The experiment was fairly short-lived, and the diamonds were ditched in 1937. For example, in 1935, the UERL board demanded an update to the map that would use bold lines for stations within the central area, and much larger symbols for interchanges. Harry Beck died in 1974, but his pioneering work in making sense of our city lives on. Beck was a London Underground employee. Formerly an engineering draughtsman for UERL, he lost his job with the Underground in the late 1920’s as a result of funding cuts. It inspired some people to create anagram versions of their hometown's metro system with similar legal repercussions. Stingemore’s work was clever, but its impact was far from earth-shattering: the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL), which operated the tube, continued to publish large geographical maps alongside handy pocket-sized copies of his diagram. Other changes were also in­tro­duced to the map, and Beck's name was re­moved. The map showed all the important central stations (including several that have since closed down or changed names), but it didn’t make it easy to find your way around. He brought back the feel of Beck’s work, but kept some of the positive aspects of Hutchison’s map, including black rings for interchanges and lower-case text for non-interchange stations. Probably the biggest misstep in the history of the tube map came in 1960. The map showed all the important central stations (including several that have since closed down or changed names), but it didn’t make it easy to find your way around. Beck did his best to comply, but the result was not a thing of beauty. Plus, it shows the network geographically, rather than the more familiar Harry Beck Tube Diagram. His own vision can be seen in this map from 1949, which he later identified as one of his favourite iterations of the diagram: Probably the biggest misstep in the history of the tube map came in 1960. Credited to publicity officer Harold Hutchison, the map didn’t just add a new line but also introduced ugly sharp angles and square interchanges. But Beck didn’t give up: the following year he tried again, and this time the company agreed to buy the design off him for just over £10 — equivalent to around £600 today. And yet, when Beck first presented his ‘diagram’ to Underground management, they were unsure. We should welcome your comments.”. PDF 637KB Step-free Tube guide (accessible version) PDF 390KB Avoiding stairs Tube guide . Dark blue “wheelchair” circles have been added to show stations with step-free access. Even then, Stingemore wasn’t able to fit in the furthest reaches of the tube system: the Bakerloo, Metropolitan and District lines are all cut off at the edges of the map. Beck didn’t love this: subsequent maps returned to 45° angles, and made much greater use of verticals. The map also omitted stations further out from the centre, for reasons which become obvious when you look at a later map that tried to show more of the network: As you ‘zoom out’ from the centre of London, you end up with a huge amount of wasted space toward the edges, and an illegible crush in the middle. Not only has it inspired countless Metro maps across continents, but it is also a staple of t-shirts, coffee mugs and countless other souvenirs. Add in tram and riverboat services, along with the forthcoming Elizabeth line and that’s around twice as many stations and connections as Harry Beck tried to cram into his first tube map. For the first time in nearly 30 years, London Transport (as UERL had by now become) created a new version of Beck’s map, updated to show the new Victoria line, without consulting him. The first schematic Tube map was designed by Harry Beck in 1931. The experiment was fairly short-lived, and the diamonds were ditched in 1937. London Underground map, by F H Stingemore, 1927 London Underground (or rather “Underground Railways of London”) issued small card folder maps in the 1920s prior to the diagrammatic map designed by Beck in the 1930s. Although Beck’s map had been entirely a personal endeavour, he was encouraged by friends to send it in to UERL for consideration. Formerly an engineering draughtsman for UERL, he lost his job with the Underground in the late 1920… The map was given away freely - and as you can see, the British Em It proved an instant success – a reprint had to be ordered within a month. In 2006, Beck’s map came second in BBC2’s Great British Design Quest, when more than 200,000 viewers chose between such compelling designs as the Mini, E-Type Jaguar and the album sleeve of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. So it seems fitting then, that for the 155th anniversary of the London Underground to pay a visit to the plaque. All the same, much more of the network is represented, and the spirit of the modern map is detectable. Formerly an engineering draughtsman for UERL, he lost his job with the Underground in the late 1920s as a result of funding cuts. Not only was the new map neater, it arguably had a social function. Even in central London, there were stations like Covent Garden and Leicester Square just 200 m from each other, while others like Kings Cross and Farringdon were 1.15 miles (1.85 km) apart. The tube map is a London icon. Dark blue “wheelchair” circles have been added to show stations with step-free access. The audio tube map. Large print Tube map in colour . Its design was initially rejected by London Transport for … As the independent railways of the 1800s merged into a single system, the first map, published in 1908, looked like this: It was, self-evidently, a mess. His own vision can be seen in the map from 1949, which he later identified as one of his favourite iterations of the diagram. This meant the centrally located stations were shown very close together and the out-of-town stations spaced far apart. Commentdocument.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "ae1bc54fd2fcb25567ce0bfe94fa3c03" );document.getElementById("bd63eebe9b").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Every month, we bring you news and features on; Health & Beauty, Money & Work, Leisure & Travel, Food & Drink, Arts, Crafts & Hobbies, Home & Garden, plus… our Charity of the Month! These design puzzles were solved over many years as Beck improved his map. Perhaps the biggest change has been the addition of extra services. The result was a map that no longer represented the true shape of London — and thus couldn’t be superimposed on a street map, as earlier attempts had been — but did allow more stations to be represented with larger text: Not only was the new map neater, it arguably had a social function. As it stood, Beck’s tube map needed no improvement, but refinements were continually being worked in, many of them still with us today. Your email address will not be published. The result was a map that no longer represented the true shape of London – and thus couldn’t be superimposed on a street map, as earlier attempts had been – but did allow more stations to be represented with larger text. £15.00. Beck worked as an electrical draughtsman on the Underground service when he created the map – considered radical at the time as it didn’t represent distances and wasn’t geographically accurate. For example, in 1935, the UERL board demanded an update to the map that would use bold lines for stations within the central area, and much larger symbols for interchanges. Eventually Beck gave up and abandoned his relationship with London Transport, although not before submitting his own idea of how the Victoria line might be represented: Beck might take some satisfaction from the fact that Hutchison’s map was not widely admired, and in 1962 another London Transport employee named Paul Garbutt stepped in to fix it. It showed outlying stations such as Edgware and Richmond appearing to be only a short distance from the centre of town, promoting a sense of community between inner London and the suburbs. A dream about a map that would shape London’s future. The map was featured on thousands of blogs before a Transport for London lawyer requested that the map be removed. Beck had been unable to include the western extremities of the District Line or the rural adventures of the Metropolitan (magenta) beyond Rickmansworth. PDF 337KB Tube map showing tunnels. But he retained an interest in London’s transport system, and with time on his hands, set about on a project to "tidy up" the tube map by — as he would later recall — "straightening the lines, experimenting with diagonals and evening out the distance between stations". He developed an interest in the way rail transport maps were graphically presented. Ever Wondered What The Tube Map Looks Like In 3D? 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