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The Steve Jobs of the London Underground map

Posted at 8:30 am, June 28, 2012 in Transport
Presentation Underground map by Henry C Beck 1931

The tube map is something we all take for granted and rarely consider its origins. Ever wondered who came up with the seamless (but maybe not geographically accurate) design? Well, it was a chap called Harry Beck who was hired to redesign the map in 1931. Some could compare Beck’s approach to the London Underground to Steve Jobs’ vision of computers: ‘what do people need and how do we make it simple?’ as he ditched the curved lines and natural bends and implemented a simple grid-like system making the map easier to read. His first design (above) was rejected leading him to design a map very similar to the one we now know and love. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The London Transport Museum is hosting a season of talks and events discussing the evolution of the tube map, contemporary art, a Piccadilly Line walking tour and much more. Be sure to check out the exhibition and to book quickly so you don’t miss out. Carly-Ann clements

For info, see ltmuseum.co.uk.

Underground Map Henry C Beck 1933

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