Redesigned Metro Maps Offer Consistency Around the World

Metro transit maps vary from city to city, each with the important task of successfully navigating us from point A to B. There's little consistency between maps, and this makes some easier to understand than others. Serbia-born, Paris-based architect Jug Cerovic moonlights as a map designer and worked to create a guideline called INAT that unifies transit paths around the world. He redesigned 12 international metro maps using this standard.

Cerovic has enlarged each city's center to accommodate for the multiple lines and connecting stations that run through it. Every map now uses the same colors and symbols for transfer points. The labeling is clearer, too. Cerovic used fonts that appear in both local and Latin characters and are legible when printed as pocket sized.

In addition to these standards, the designer uses shapes to give travelers a general idea of how the city is laid out. Places like Moscow and Paris appear as circles, while rectangles represent Beijing and Shanghai. Regularly-spaced parallel lines are for gridded street patterns like New York and Mexico City. Linear paths are either vertical, horizontal, or at 45 degree angle, which improves the maps' uniformity for a smooth, familiar look. This redesigned consistency means travelling to a foreign place is slightly less daunting.

Berlin detail

Tokyo detail

INAT Metro Maps website and Jug Cerovic website
via [designboom and Slate]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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