Teachers: Josh, Andrew
Students: Graeme, Rowan
This studio is all focused around a competition the MBTA is having to create appreciation of the MBTA System. The MBTA wants the participators to design a new MBTA map. There are two competitions; a creative map competition that would just be cool to look at and be treated as art. The other competition is for a usable, functioning, map that could easily replace the current map. The inspiration behind this was to have a map that helped people who aren’t familiar with boston or its train maps could easily pick up our map and know how to use the trains.
Everyone in the studio was completely new to mapping and the software used to make maps. what Josh and Andrew wanted us to do was learn about typography and map making, and we did that along with learning about the struggles of map-making. Typography is about what you want in your map and what you want to prioritize above other things. We felt the map makers trouble because we did not know how to value some information over other information. We didn't know what to leave out and what to put in. But this did really help us a lot to learn about using illustrator. Illustrator is a professional graphic design software made by Adobe. We learned the different tools that helped us with making icons, by using circles with different stroke weights to have a clipping mask effect, so the icon that was once square was now circular. The other thing that illustrator helped with a lot was vectorizing images so that the images had infinite resolution. That means when you zoomed in on them they were not pixelated. To vectorize the image Andrew taught us how to use the image trace tool which traces the image perfectly so that the edges are smooth. illustrator also makes it really easy to edit the file in total because it let us move and delete names and change the ways the lines were angled so we could customize it a little more to the way that we wanted it to be customized.
After many iterations we have five maps that could easily be expanded into hundreds of maps, then possibly be put onto an iphone app for easy use. A good idea would be to have the base map cleaned with toggles above it so that when you toggled the college button all the icons popped up. We have a map of most of the colleges in the area, we could add a lot more colleges. We have a family/ tourists map for a weekend plan. We have a sports map of the red sox and TD garden, we could also expand on that. We have a shopping centers map. If we did more research we could probably find a lot more places. Finally we have a map for most of the museums in the area. We put the ICA on the silver line to try and help out its popularity between the other lines. Over all what we have is a good product that the MBTA map designers will like and take into consideration because of its user friendliness and its ability to maintain simplicity. Also we didn't try to please everyone by having one map have everything on it, if we had done that then no target audience would have been pleased. This problem was exactly the problem that Andrew and Josh wanted us to encounter and learn from because in the real map making process that is one of the most important issues there is.