Home Asides Event: Vignelli on Vignelli at the Transit Museum

Event: Vignelli on Vignelli at the Transit Museum

by Benjamin Kabak

For the subway map and design buffs among us, this Wednesday night brings along a special treat: Massimo Vignelli will be talking about his iconic and controversial subway map in an event at the Transit Museum in Brooklyn Heights. At the cost of $10 for museum members and $15 for everyone else, Vignelli will hold forth on the legacy of his map and its recent reappearance as the MTA’s Weekender offerings. Michael Bierut, a partner at Pentagram, will moderate a panel that includes Vignelli, Beatriz Cifuentes and Yoshi Waterhouse. For tickets and more, check out this link, and say hi if you see me there in the audience.

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Kevin Walsh September 10, 2012 - 3:23 pm

I have always found the Tauranac subway map, introduced in 1979 and used in modified form today, more user-friendly, understandable and plain better-looking than the over-stylized Vignelli map.

I’m glad the wordpress subwayweekender site uses the Tauranac


instead of the MTA Vignelli weekender, which uses a confusing array of blinking icons.


I suppose, like spinach, the Vignelli stuff is pushed at us because, it’s, well, good for us.

Anon September 10, 2012 - 7:44 pm

OFF TOPIC: Subway Platform Safety

you catch this vid?

John-2 September 10, 2012 - 10:29 pm

When it comes to maps, the simpler the instructions, the better, and while Vignell’s lines that allow for only 45- or 90-degree angles seems like simplicity itself, the idea originally by the MTA that his map would be one of three riders would use to navigate the system and match the abstract NYC subway system with the real world above (or below) it was, in hindsight, inane.

That’s why the 1979 and onward maps have been more successful. While the lines may not be as elegantly laid down as on Vignelli’s map, it does a better job of immediately matching the subway system to its actual location, even if a few exceptions have to be made in Manhattan to get a wide amount of graphics onto a narrow borough. It will be interesting to see if that conundrum gets covered on Wednesday.

Eddie Jabbour September 11, 2012 - 9:22 am

OMG! This is a 50 year debate! Diagram map vs. Topographical map. Neither is best for mapping the NYC’s Subway…


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