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The London Underground map: The design that shaped a city

It looks like a cross between an electric circuit diagram and a Mondrian painting – but the London Underground map also revolutionised design. Jonathan Glancey travels back in time.

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This is UX/UI design at its finest, and has stood the test of time! This article reminds me of discussions about centered around arguments made by Tufte in my Visual Design class in grad school.  


Maps are tricky devils, if you ask me. It a miracle that some of them turn out as well as they do. (I’m hoping to write an article soon about two maps I came across recently that weren’t all that great to me from a surprising source.)  The London Underground map has grown over the years as new stops and new lines have been added. I have a poster of the map from 25+ years ago that I used to have that definitely is not as detailed as the one displayed in this article. 


The teaser line of this article suggests that the Underground map is content that revolutionized design. I agree. Read the article, and let me know if you agree as well. 


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Danielle M. Villegas is a technical communicator who currently employed at Cox Automotive, Inc., and freelances as her own technical communications consultancy, Dair Communications. She has worked at the International Refugee Committee, MetLife, Novo Nordisk, BASF North America, Merck, and Deloitte, with a background in content strategy, web content management, social media, project management, e-learning, and client services. Danielle is best known in the technical communications world for her blog,, which has continued to flourish since it was launched during her graduate studies at NJIT in 2012. She has presented webinars and seminars for Adobe, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the IEEE ProComm, TCUK (ISTC) and at Drexel University’s eLearning Conference. She has written articles for the STC Intercom, STC Notebook, the Content Rules blog, and The Content Wrangler as well. She is very active in the STC, as a former chapter president for the STC-Philadelphia Metro Chapter, and is currently serving on three STC Board committees. You can learn more about Danielle on LinkedIn at, on Twitter @techcommgeekmom, or through her blog. All content is the owner's opinions, and does not reflect those of her employers past or present.

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