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Thursday, March 4, 2010
Have you seen the new red NYC subway map? I just did via The Daily Heller and my reactions are mixed. First off I'd like to see a bigger version to really judge it. My first impression was positive though, I respond to the one color treatment and from the little picture it looks like everything is easy to read. But as I read the Heller post I concluded that this is a map to look pretty, it's an artistic interpretation rather than something that is supposed to function.
"The florescent red color becomes an unpredictable variable, as legibility can change completely under different lighting conditions."
Isn't a map supposed to be legible? To help guide the way?
And this: "The map embraces a dual (and seemingly contradictory) agenda, "offering practical and aesthetic improvements to the existing subway map while simultaneously subverting these improvements through the absurd adherence to a single color," Heasty adds. "In this way the map reflects the often contradictory experience of New York City, the rigid systems and grids constantly interrupted by the unpredictable realities of a metropolis, the intermingling forces of order and chaos, and the city’s visual communications frequent inability to make sense of it all.""
Honestly when I read things like that I roll my eyes, "simultaneously subverting these improvements." Why would you do that for something that's supposed to be functional unless the real purpose is as art? Or to make money?