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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Penguin Books for the Tube's 150th Anniversary

As many of the know, the London Underground will be 150 years old next year.  Both TfL and London Transport Museum will be running a number of activities to celebrate, including running a
steam locomotive on the Tube system.  Penguin Books are also releasing an interesting series of short paperbacks devoted to individual Tube lines.

Photo by Leon Daniels
Photo by Leon Daniels

One of my favourite authors, John Lanchester, has written  What We Talk About When We Talk About The Tube.  It offers his take on the District Line. Broadcaster & journalist Paul Morley will tackle the Bakerloo line with Earthbound. Each of the £5 line paperbacks will be published by Penguin Books next March.

Other books by Penguin for the 150th anniversary include a definitive history of the system, a book of poems and philosophical works taking the concept of transit as their starting point and Mark Ovenden is writing a book dedicated to the London Underground's iconic design from its maps to its posters.

Mike Brown, LU's managing director said: "We are really excited to be working with Penguin Books for this important anniversary, especially as it was a trip by rail that inspired the creation of Penguin Books and [because] both organisations share a history of using the same graphic designers."

I was lucky enough to attend the launch of London Underground map expert, Max Roberts' new labour of love Underground Maps Unravelled, a few weeks ago.  Max describes the book as an  "in-depth analysis of how schematic maps assist the user, when they fail, and the psychological theories that explain why. It asks whether traditional design techniques are suited to today’s complex networks, and explores what happens when the rules are broken. The result is an astonishing collection of maps for cities worldwide that challenge preconceptions about the nature of effective design."

Watch this space for my review of his book soon.

You might also like
How to create a Topographically Reasonable Tube Map
Railway Maps of the World - Mark Ovenden Guest Post
London Underground: Architecture, Design & History Book Review
Underground Overground : A Passenger's History of the Tube - Book Review

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