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Iconic Transit Map

T Map Challenge | Projects

  • 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.

  • today mat brown came in and gave us some excellent advice, it was to divide up the map into more specific maps. like the college, museum, shopping, sports, and family map we now have. his advice was key and exactly what we were looking for. i think back in the beginning of the studio we didn't think the project would come as far as it has. personally i think it looks good right now. but what we changed today was very minor. we separated the layers into the separate specific maps, edited the small details like overlapping stops and things like that so the original image looks like it should, with a few minor details. the biggest thing that we did today was add all 5 logos to the copley square box in the corner, then cleaned up, and it was where it is now. i think that tomorrow something up will come up that we have to fix.

  • Today Josh and Andrew talked to us about what they thought about our map. they said if we are going with a iconic map. we need more icons, more than the 15 we have now. he also asked us to change the BC and BU logo because they weren't in the theme of the simple logos. once he said that i said, i should change the goose, for boston common. then after that i looked at the beach icon and they said its too complicated to, so i changed that then i came to the realization that there is more than one beach in the greater Boston area, so he andrew suggested that if we find more beaches use the exact same icon. so after this talk me and graeme set to work what we have now is that we have a map, where all the icons are only 2 colors. the color of the line and the a white/black outline of the picture we are using. i think that tomorrow we are going to add on about 6 or 7 more icons, put a bunch in the copley square box. And probably clean up the all the areas so that they look as clean as possible, along with come up with maybe a different idea for the title, but right now i think that it looks nice.

  • extend page so its not cramped

    fix title

    for transfer station by TD garden make it so you can see the lines

    more icons

    - different BU/BC icon

    - airport logo inside silverline

    -arboretum

    - NE at ruggles

    -hatshell

    -MASS AVE christian science

    - coolidge corner

    - BPL

    - ship museum quincy.

    - change revere beach logo

    - copley square icons - 6

     

  • today we went ahead and fixed up Saeeds critique of having all the logos being the same colors. i initially thought my idea was better but when i opened up i decided that his idea was a cleaner and simpler look. so today we went to work. vectorized all the icons so that they looked a lot better. we finalized the icons part of everything. it looks nice. all we really have left is coming up with a more creative title. fixing up the legend so we can add our own artistic touch. then i think tomorrow we are going to clean up the entire map and make it look professional, then print it out to fit the requirements of the MBTA map competition. so overall i think we are almost there, just some more things to touch up on to make it all look good.

  • Dominick Tribone, an inovation leader at the MBTA, came to review our projects. Having him critiquing our maps gives us a huge step up compared to the other contestants since he is the one judging these maps. Our concept is to create a learning curve for people who might know the city but are transfering from car transportation to public transportation and might not know the MBTA routes and new college students. He liked our concept but he did have some suggestions to us. He said that our logos and icons made the map cluttered and we needed to work more on integrating the logos into the map and rescale them. He also wanted us to add lines in between different neighborhoods so it is easier to read but more importantly to integrate the logos into the map. Rowan and I are now tryng a bunch of different things to do exactly that.

  • today we began the plotting of the MBTA map on a diffrent sheet. we took the lines, the red, blue, orange ect. and put them on another page, so we had just those lines and the names of them. then we proceeded to move and take out the uneccisary names, such as the squares. we added our own touch and out in the district names behinde all of the subway lines such as "east boston" "cambridge" ect. while i was doing this graeme was creating the logos for all of the tourist attractions. they are going to be layed out like they are in the pictures in my last post. we also decided to add small picture of the center crossing at down town crossing in the botton of the map, to help people navigate in the area because right now it is quite confusing. what we plan to do tomrrow is get a good border on the downtown crossing picture in the botton right hand corner. and put all the logos where they belong. and then on friday clean everything up to make it look nice.

  • The point of this map is to take the basic idea of the current MBTA tube map but make it represent boston more without making it too complicated to look at or without diluting any information. This means I will keep the same information on the map but at the same time highlight stops that lead to hubs like newbury street and cultural landmarks like fenway park. Another aspect of the current MBTA map that would make it easier for some people to read would be to mark time and/or distance on the map and also to make the map relative to certain areas of Boston. The map would also be fairly relative to north, south, east, and west so that someone going on the the train would know what direction they are going. The problem I am anticipating is cluttering. With all the information on the current map and plus the information I want to add the map will become too cluttered and it will become harder to read rather than easier. But, with all maps, comprimizes are made and some information is left out for the sake of legibility and I expect to do the same.

  • 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.