- Claire Dobbin With a foreword by Peter Barber from The British Library
By documenting and guiding us on the journeys we make every day, maps influence the way we navigate and identify with our surroundings. The Underground, London Transport, and its successor Transport for London have produced and inspired maps which are navigational, decorative forms of publicity and works of art. This book, which draws on the rich collections of the London Transport Museum, sets out to explore this unique form of visual communication.
Covering the period from 1900 to the present day, Claire Dobbin's fascinating narrative provides a chronological account of the mapping of London's Underground. Starting with the magnificent early twentieth-century decorative maps of Macdonald Gill, the evolution of London's diagrammatic Underground map, introduced by Harry Beck's iconic 1931 design, is expertly told. The legacy of Beck's inspiring design is highlighted through selected maps, artworks, posters and merchandise.
Incorporating design, art, cartographic, social and transport history, London Underground Maps provides a fascinating account of the capital's innovative approach to decoding and promoting its complex underground network. An accessible narrative coupled with first-class imagery make this book a must for lovers of art, design and cartography as well as the history of London.
Contents: Foreword; Timeline; Introduction; The 'Wonderground': MacDonald Gill and the decorative map; On the right track: Harry Beck and the diagrammatic tube map; Beck and Beyond: Inspiring maps, publicity, art and design; Further reading, Acknowledgements, Index.
About the Author: Claire Dobbin is Senior Curator at the London Transport Museum, where she specialises in the Underground's design heritage and art patronage. She helped develop the Museum's online poster collection, co-curated the 2008 centenary exhibition The Art of the Poster, contributed to the book London Transport Posters, also published by Lund Humphries, and curated the Museum's exhibition Mind the Map, an accompaniment to this publication.
Reviews: '..a very informative and splendidly illustrated book.'
'Those interested in art, British history, business history, cartography, design, geography, and modernist studies will find this book accessible and rewarding ... highly recommended'.
'...copious and lavish illustrations...Dobbin provides as comprehensive an overview of art inspired by the Underground map as can be found anywhere...'
PopMatters.com, July 2012
'This beautifully designed and produced volume...stands...as a valuable introduction not only to transport maps of London but also to the role of transport authorities...in commissioning highly decorative as well as purely functional maps of the metropolis.' The Journal of Transport History
Co-publisher: Published in association with the London Transport Museum
View sample pages from London Underground Maps (5.4MB)