The Original Beck Map with the Modern Network

This creation by Arturs D, a volunteer at the London Transport Museum, is a faithful transplantion of the original c.1933 H.C. “Harry” Beck London tube map, the first to show the network as a diagram with rigid lines and corners – to the modern day network. The official Transport for London map is itself the modern successor to the Beck original, however over time it has evolved in design – from the coloured diamond interchanges being replaced with black circles, to the increasing clutter of adding several non-tube networks (DLR, Trams, TfL-managed heavy rail and now riverbus stops), station note “daggers” and accessibility markers.

So, taking this step back to the simple, revolutionary “circuit board” design, but incorporating the changes to the tube itself, is a breath of fresh air. Arturs has taken great care to keep the original look and feel of the 1933 map, with its varying colours and some cartographic inconsistencies. Sure, you could fix these, but then it wouldn’t be a homage to the original, and the temptation to over-detail would be there.

The “Under Consideration” for the proposed extension of the Bakerloo line is a nice touch, and the Northern Line extension is included too – again, both echoing the style of the original.

The distinctive overall tone produces something which the modern traveller can use while giving it an instant vintage “wall art” appeal too. How brilliant would it be if TfL released this as one of their “official” maps?

You can find out more about the map on Arturs’ Twitter account or at Gumroad where a high-resolution version is available for download for an optional donation.

Discovered on Londonist. Design copyright Arturs D, based on an original which is copyright Transport for London.

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