Moscow metro

Fifth version of the Moscow Metro map

I made my first Moscow metro map in 2007. The official map was disgusting then, but nobody cared. My work inspired many designers to try to design their own map. I know several designers who gave up after they’ve appreciated how hard the task actually was. I had two major revisions of my map including the one for the official 2013 competition for the new map to be used on the system. In that version I’ve solved the problem of the Biblioteka imeni Lenina junction and invented the Compass (more on that on the 2013 map’s page in my portfolio). I took the second place. It took most of the 2015 to design the next version of the map: it used space more efficiently and the overall graphical design was improved.

Here is the new version, with the new Circle Railway (Line 14) added:

Compared to the official map, this map has almost 35% larger font when printed as same-size poster:

Fifth version of the Moscow Metro map

See the project page for detail.

2016   design   moscow metro   projects

The transformation of Moscow Metro map from version 3 to version 4

I’ve made a video showing how my Moscow Metro map transformed from version 3 to version 4:

After the video has loaded (16 MB), you can scrub it.

0:00 Changes inside the Circle and on the west
0:02 Font size grows
0:05 Font size grows
0:10 The Circle becomes smaller
0:14 Yellow line appears on the west
0:15 The grid becomes narrower
0:16 The northern and southern grids decouple
0:22 Finding the right corner rounding
0:24 Changes on the west
0:27 Preparing the north to adding the monorail
0:33 Butovskaya line on the south, monorail
0:34 Even distribution inside the Circle
0:36 It’s hard to position the Tretykoskaya and Novokuznetskaya stations well
0:42 Transfers become bigger
0:44 Font size grows
0:47 Font size grows
0:48 The northern and southern grids reunite
0:54 The font changes to PT Sans Metro
0:57 Transfers become nicer
0:59 Adjusting the distances
1:05 Layout...
2016   design   moscow metro

The fourth version of Moscow metro map

I made my first Moscow metro map in 2007. The official map was disgusting then, but nobody cared. My work inspired many designers to try to design their own map. I know several designers who gave up after they’ve appreciated how hard the task actually was. I had two major revisions of my map including the one for the official 2013 competition for the new map to be used on the system. In that version I’ve solved the problem of the Biblioteka imeni Lenina junction and invented the Compass (more on that on the 2013 map’s page in my portfolio). I took the second place.

In the beginning of 2015 I saw many ways to make my map better. I wanted to use the space more efficiently and to improve the graphical design: remove the dirty gradients and pseudo-realistic shadows, use beautiful peanut-like transfers that I imagined. It took most of the 2015 to design the new map.

Here it is:

I like it on every level, it’s beautiful. I’ve spent much time to perfect the overall shape, the graphical rhythm, the relationships between the widths of the lines, ticks and circles. Inside the Circle line, I’ve found the most even distribution of captions and white space. This not only looks calm and unforced, but also makes possible a significant font size increase as the space is never lost.

I also had to engineer a special version of the PT Sans font for the map. I used PT Sans in the previous version and I like it. But it has a problem: the capital letters are too high. When you have a multi-line caption, you have to make its line height quite large, which is hindrance when you strive for density. So I had to create a version of PT Sans with lower capitals and slightly less prominent accents specially for the map. Thanks to Anna Danilova for help with this.

Go see the new map’s page in my portfolio. There you can also download a PDF to see the map in detail. Don’t forget to share.

2016   design   moscow metro   projects

Redesigning Moscow Metro map

The current official Metro map looks like this (feel free to reorder the letters in the word “this”):

The official map has always been quite bad, but this design (debuted September, 2012) is just embarrassing. It made the indignation spread from designers to the regular people, which means the design is really, really poor. In November the Moscow Department of Transportation announced a design competition for a new Metro map. The deadline: end of December. The prize: your map in the carriages.

I’ve actually been working on Moscow Metro map since 2006, and have released the first version in 2007. At first I thought I would send them my old map, but it turned out to be a bad idea: every competing design should have included a number of features my map did not have (i. e.: having all station names repeated in English). Adding all the features to the old map wasn’t possible due to its design. So I had to come up with a new map in two months.

Here’s the design I proposed:

The competition has just finished, and unfortunately my design hadn’t won. I took the 2nd place among 37 competitors, losing only to Art. Lebedev Studio, the most well-known Russian design studio. By the way, the 3rd place was taken by the Russian International News Agency (RIA Novosti), one of the largest state-owned news agencies.

I’ve completed a “case study” page for this project, and would like to invite you to read it: Moscow Metro map.

I’ve also been blogging in Russian during the final stages of the competition. If you are any curious, I invite you to look through the posts. As I said, they are in Russian, but there are many pictures. It’s one of my most important design works.

2013   moscow metro