I mentioned a while back that I'm working in a studio that specialises in interpretive design. There aren't really that many specialists in the UK; in Northern Ireland, Tandem is the only one. I'm there for just a while and the specialism is new to me – but I have to say, it's very interesting work.
The discipline of interpretive design is, in itself, interesting and I'll say more about that another time. What's immediately interesting is the material it brings you into contact with – whether by chance or by design (pardon the pun).
Just before I went all quiet Elizabeth, in Texas, very kindly sent me a package packed full of road maps from her part of the world. And then I went quiet. It was months ago. If you're still with me Elizabeth: I must apologise for this ridiculous delay — life has just been getting in the way. The photographs have been sitting in this blog post, waiting for some words, since way before the summer. Great cartographics. Many thanks for sending them and I hope your move went well.
If you follow me on Twitter (What do you mean you don't?) then you may have noticed that every now and then I tweet links to old blog posts. It struck me a while back that there's loads of stuff buried in the archives that many might have either missed or forgotten. On a personal level I've really enjoyed re-visiting all the old stuff. Stuff of days gone by. From back in the day…etc, etc.
Some of the really early stuff, I think, warrants more than just a tweet. Way back then I only posted a few images. This pack of maps for example, from when Czechoslovakia was still a Central European Sovereign State was barely covered.
I picked it up in Prague when I was on my Stag Weekend. By day, we stalked secondhand bookshops; by night we got rat-arsed on Absinth and inexpensive Czech beers. Ah, if these maps could talk…
Published by the RIT Press Vignelli Transit Maps tells the rise and fall story of the celebrated New York subway map, from its preliminary sketches, through its publishing and on to its demise. Lavishly illustrated, the book is an appropriately dignified and detailed monument to a significant icon of graphic design history.