Transit Map Extravaganza and SDS Summer Party

SDS would like to invite you to our special summer party featuring two illustrious speakers.

Purely Decorative: The Journey Map is the Reward

An exhibition by Maxwell J Roberts

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The purpose of a map is to show the topography of the landscape so that it can be navigated effectively, but the skills of the cartographer can have a considerable aesthetic effect on the viewer too. How many maps, proudly displayed on the walls of houses worldwide, have ever been used as originally intended? Maps are not only beautiful, they can evoke strong memories, such of youthful exploration, or holidays to exotic destinations. The humble transit map fulfils these roles well, and creative designers often embellish their work with artistic flourishes, alternatively the stark simplicity of stripped down unornamented designs, with their nod to Bauhaus philosophy, have their own powerful aesthetic, as achieved by Beck and Vignelli.

SDS Members will be well aware of the quest by Maxwell Roberts to improve schematic map usability, but he has also dabbled in versions inspired by the decorative arts, deliberately intended to be beautiful rather than usable. This exhibition collects together these works for the first time, and also includes some of his creations (and digital reconstructions of work by other designers) in which their attractiveness matches, or even exceeds, their usability.

Wonderfully Weird Worldwide Transit Maps

Transport historian and author Mark Ovenden presents some of the oddest and most unusual metro, subway and train maps from right round the planet

Transport Design Historian Mark Ovenden was born and brought up in London. Before publishing books on cartography and design he had a career in broadcast and print media and a childhood fascination in trains. For a school project Mark painted a revision of the classic Beck inspired Tube diagram and came back to the subject of design for his first book: "Metro Maps of The World", published in the UK in 2003. In 2005 Mark moved to France to focus on his next book: "Paris Metro Style in map and station design”. Mark’s follow-up "Railway Maps of the World" was published in 2011. Mark decanted back to his birth city to research the next book: "London Underground by Design", timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the world’s first subterranean railway, in January 2013. In 2015 he returned to "Transit Maps of the World" to make a fully updated and revised edition. His next book is a celebration of the Johnston and Gill Sans typefaces and more books on design and transit are in the pipeline.


Date: 7th July 2016

Time: 6.00 pm

Venue: The Gallery, Alan Baxter Associates, 75 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EL

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