Graphic designer and self-described “lifelong transit nerd” Peter Dovak has proven that no two subway systems are alike with his series of Mini Metros. Multicolored and minimalist in design, the reimagined plans stylistically showcase the unique routes, lines, and paths of public transportation in cities across the globe.
Each Technicolor transit map offers a graphic and straightforward look at the inner-workings of the world’s most well-known and widely used metros. While many may look similar at first glance, closer inspection reveals the one-of-a-kind twists, turns, and bends of each network. Some—like Barcelona, Paris, Seoul, and Tokyo—are busy, with the tangled, intertwined lines forming intricate, knot-like patterns. Others—including Copenhagen, Glasgow, and Ottawa—are surprisingly simple, with only a line or two comprising the entire system. As, like the cities themselves, each metro map is inevitably bound is undergo changes over time, Dovak intends to regularly update his designs based on his own research and feedback “from passionate transit fans around the world.”
While Dovak was inspired to create his Mini Metros series years ago, he only published the first batch in 2016. He has noted that creating each tiny chart has been no small feat, as he has challenged himself to follow a self-created set of clear-cut and complicated graphic design guidelines: lines must measure 3px, parallel lines must have at least 3px between them, diagonals should measure 45-degrees, and each redesigned map must fit into a 120px circle. If sticking to those rigorous rules sounds a bit tricky, that’s because it was! “There were many cities that were difficult to fit into these requirements,” Dovak confessed on his website. “But it was very satisfying creating very complex maps that still resembled their full-size counterparts at very small sizes.”
You can see some exceptional examples of Dovak’s hard work below, and check out the full series of delightful designs on his website. You can also make a pit stop at his shop to pick up some Mini Metro merchandise.
Mind the gap!