Debating Form And Function Of New York's Subway Map

02/07/2011 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

After listening to the current iteration of the New York City subway map called everything from bilious to muddy to messy to a mongrel, I almost felt bad for the thing. Almost. It's been insulted, beaten, torn apart and called everything under the sun, but it still looks ugly.

Last night, the Museum of the City of New York hosted an All Star panel of subway map men. Massimo Vignelli, John Tauaranc, Eddie Jabbour of KickMap fame and historian Paul Shaw took turns exploring the evolution of the form and functionality of the New York City subway map. The MTA's map folks were invited but apparently declined the invitation. While the various designers disagreed on the proper appearance for a map, the one thing that united the evening was an obvious disgust with the current iteration. "Clarity is the key," Tauranac, one of the designers of the 1979 subway map, said. "The MTA simply does not do that."


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