If imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, then H.C. Beck must have been blushing when this diagram of railway services in Sydney, Australia was produced in 1939. Designed just six years after Beck’s famous London Underground diagram first appeared, it mimics the original’s style almost perfectly. As scans of this map on the Internet had quality issues, I decided to redraw it in Adobe Illustrator from scratch.
Way back in 2009, I created a corporate identity for the New Orleans Tile Company, basing the logo’s letterforms off photographs of the beautiful blue-and-yellow 1920s ceramic tiles that can still be found spelling out street names around the city today. Over the years, I have received quite a few requests for my artwork from people working on other New Orleans-related typography projects, so here it is to download.
Restoring the vintage transit maps that I’m now selling in my store is a laborious, time-intensive task, but I think that it’s definitely worth it in the end. The major task is getting rid of blemishes: age spots, ink smears, tears, creases, dirt, dust, and even hair or other fibres that are between the print and the scanning surface. Here’s how I go about things!
I’m very pleased to announce that I’m now offering a range of carefully selected and lovingly restored vintage transit and railroad maps in my shop as an historical complement to my own modern transit map designs.
I found a 1959 map showing Class I railroads in the USA and Canada. The map was beautiful, but what really struck me was the border, which had the logos of the railroad companies featured on the map. It’s not often that you get to see so many contemporaneous historical logos from the same industry, so I cleaned them up in Photoshop to make this poster that showcases them.
In addition to the maps that I sell in my own online store, I also sell prints (and other products like phone and laptop cases) via the print-on-demand service, Society6. One problem with Society6 to date has been making all the photos I have there easily accessible. So it’s with some relief that I note that Society6 has finally implemented “Collections”which at least allows me to group my photos thematically and provide links to them.