Coloring the Subway Map
Saturday, February 11, 2023
12:00 PM ET
Today’s NYC subway system is defined by color—like the green Lexington Avenue Line, the red Broadway Line, and the blue Eighth Avenue Line. But how and why were those colors chosen? And what color schemes came before and why did they change?
Join Peter Lloyd for a discussion about the coloring of subway lines since 1904. He will trace the historical color schemes as the map passed through the hands of principal mapmakers, from Andrew Hagstrom to John Tauranac. Touching on the ingenious color schemes that never made the official map, his talk will also follow sidelined mapmakers such as Arthur Weindorf and Thomas Stephen.
Peter B. Lloyd began collecting worldwide subway maps in the 1990s. After collaborating with best-selling author Mark Ovenden on a book about the Paris Metro, he began researching the NYC subway map. His research led him through archives and interviews with mapmakers responsible for the map over the past half-century. In 2012 he published Vignelli: Transit Maps. In 2015 he organised a major symposium on the map in Cooper Union. In 2018, at the University of Kent, he published results of a usability study of color in the MTA Weekender map. He is writing further volumes on the map’s history.
All attendees are welcome. You will have the option to turn on automatic captions for this virtual program. Staff will share instructions for how to do so at the start of the event. Please email [email protected] for any accessibility-related questions.
Please contact [email protected] for general inquiries.
Image above: Detail from sketch IND subway map by Arthur Weindorf, 1943, for the Board of Transportation but not published. Copyright: MTA. Collection: New York Transit Museum.
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