Massimo Vignelli: New York Subway Diagram

1508 Words 7 Pages
Massimo Vignelli: New York Subway Diagram.
Communication is an essential part of graphic design. Public signs, utility signs, and road signs are examples of how a design communicate the information with the use of graphical elemtns. As up in coming graphic designers, it is important for us to understand how we should approach informative design; creating something that is just aesthetically pleasing won’t be an effective tool for the public to utilize in everyday life. A perfect example of how communication was integrated in design is Massimo Vignelli’s design of New York subway map of the 1970’s. Massimo Vignelli’s redesign of New York subway map brought a graphic solution to the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s over-detailed maze-like map.
…show more content…
Communication is an essential part of graphic design. Public signs, utility signs, and road signs are examples of how a design communicate the information with the use of graphical elemtns. As up in coming graphic designers, it is important for us to understand how we should approach informative design; creating something that is just aesthetically pleasing won’t be an effective tool for the public to utilize in everyday life. A perfect example of how communication was integrated in design is Massimo Vignelli’s design of New York subway map of the 1970’s. Massimo Vignelli’s redesign of New York subway map brought a graphic solution to the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s over-detailed maze-like map. By understanding and utilizing a semiotic grid, semantics, syntactic, and pragmatics, Massimo Vingelli created a diagram that is highly legible, even in today’s standards. Even though at the time, the reduction of unnecessary details, such as ignoring the accuracy of the landscape of New York, was perceived negatively by New York natives, it undoubtedly served its purpose of conveying information to commuters by just leaving the bare essential details and using color coded lines to differentiate and organize the routes. In this paper, I will be talking about how Massimo Vignelli’s use of semantics, syntactic, pragmatic, and a semiotic grid help create the diagram that influenced today’s modern designers on how readability is key for a successful …show more content…
With Bob Noorda’s experience in informational graphics and Massimo Vignelli’s expertise in grid design, both designers decided to mix both ideas and focus more on how they can communicate the information better. Unlike the previous map design of 1968 (as we can see in fig 1) that has too much unnecessary details, which not only crowded the map of information but also tangled the routes making it hard for visitors to read, especially if they are from out of town. Also, reducing the route lines by simply using, vertical, horizontal and 45 degree angles made the map more legible fixing the tangled mess of the previous map design. Massimo Vignelli’s believes that as human beings, we analyze everything in a semiotic grid, creating associations to signs and colors, so it was just natural to reduce the map to the bare-essentials. Semiotic means the study of symbology which is the notion that every sign has importance and has a meaning. For example, the redesign of the subway map used different eye-catching colors to differentiate the routes. This choice of color change doesn’t just make the map look aesthetically pleasing but it also makes the routes clearer to read and creates a sense of familiarity, where commuters can recognize the specific color and associate it with the

Related Documents