Tube Map

Tube Map

Passenger navigation is essential in any efficient transport system. This means all forms of visual communication must be considered. Clear and easy-to-read signage, maps, and literature all play an essential part.

The Metropolitan and Metropolitan District Railways produced the first public transport maps of London in the 1880s. They showed routes and interchange stations and advised passengers on where they could make connections with mainline train and horse-bus services. These early maps were geographic, showing Underground lines and stations in relation to the street plan above.

The Underground network expanded considerably during the 1890s and 1900s when the deep Tube railways were built. Many of the lines were operated by different railway companies, who each produced their own maps. This became increasingly confusing for the public as the system grew. In 1908, the Underground Group produced a single standard map that included all lines. This was part of promoting the Underground Group as a 'system', and of cooperation between private companies that were still independent operations.

By the early 1930s, the London Underground network had expanded considerably. Draughtsman Fred Stingemore was finding it increasingly difficult to squeeze all the new lines and stations into a geographical map. Passengers complained that the result was confusing and hard to read, especially in the centre where stations were concentrated.

Bookmark with:

  • What are these?