The New York Subway Map Debate

The New York City Subway Map has been redesigned many times since its debut in 1904, but perhaps no effort was as contentious as the 1979 redesign overseen by cartographer John Tauranac and executed by Michael Hertz Associates. In 1978, Tauranac and designer Massimo Vignelli — who was responsible for the critically acclaimed 1974 version — met on stage with a panel of eight other experts to debate the new design. It was a spirited debate, and The New York Subway Map Debate recounts it in full detail. Based off lost audio recordings and edited by Gary Hustwit, it sheds new light on this important moment in design history. The transcript is accompanied by never-before-seen photographs of the evening by Stan Ries, a foreword by designer Paula Scher, and fresh interviews for added context. A worthwhile read for anyone interested in design.

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