Massimo Vignelli Subway Map Uncovered

Massimo Vignelli said in a recent short documentary that “good design lasts longer” and its quite true. Although, without the preservation or relocation to a safe location, I’m not sure how much longer some of these works will last in the wild. It really is pleasant to see that gems like this subway map are still out there.

This map is at the 57 Street F station in New York City. Let’s just hope that the maintenance crew doesn’t come by and slap a Twilight poster over it.

Via imjustcreative

11 Comments Leave A Comment


Jonathan Matos says:

November 2, 2010 at 8:16 am

I have one signed by Mr. Vignelli himself hanging in my room. If you’ve seen the film Helvetica then you should know that the guy is even funnier in person. I’ve never met anyone more passionate about design than Vignelli, and I really mean that. He truly is one of the greatest designers of our time, and I feel very fortunate to have met him.


John says:

November 2, 2010 at 10:55 am

This is a really bizarre post. While this design is certainly classic and important, it’s also inaccurate and outdated at this late date. Why wouldn’t the maintenance crew “slap a twilight poster over it?”


Shelby says:

November 2, 2010 at 11:09 am


There is no reason why a maintenance crew wouldn’t put a poster over Vignelli’s map—that itself is entirely the point (“Let’s just hope…”). By saying that, I’m saying that it would be great if other than designers had the appreciation for the preservation of classic design. But instead, more mainstream stuff such as Twilight posters or trivial things alike, find the front stage.


Jeremy says:

November 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm

I also had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Vignelli recently. I was blown away by his wisdom, modesty, humor and genuineness. He is truly an inspiring man, who’s contribution to graphic design should never be forgotten.

I strongly encourage everyone download and read his canon:


John says:

November 3, 2010 at 10:39 am

You may find it mildly confusing navigating the NYC subway using this map Shelby, as the individual train lines haven’t been referred to as the “IRT,” the “BMT” or the “IND” in about 31 years.


AdamH says:

November 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

The uncovered subway map is an interesting archeological find and a lovely piece of design, but I have to agree with John. It’s inaccurate in that the New York City Subway has changed significantly in the intervening years (not to mention Vignelli’s rigorous design scheme led to some pretty misleading distortions in geography). Though I am no fan of Twilight, poster design, by nature, is ephemeral and the MTA shouldn’t be expected to preserve out dated subway posters for the sake of precious design.


Shelby says:

November 3, 2010 at 10:50 am

John & Adam,

My point isn’t that the poster should be kept in the subway, because yes, its truly inaccurate to the present.

The preservation doesn’t need to be in the subway. It would make more sense to remove it from the subway and placed in an exhibit elsewhere so us design folk can “ooo” and “ahh” over it.


blackbag says:

December 4, 2010 at 6:51 pm

I just came back from that station to look for it, and i’m sorry to say that it’s not there anymore.
Hopefully they just covered it with the new subway map that was in it’s place.