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Artist Creates Simple, Beautiful Subway Maps for 100 Different Cities

Your morning commute doesn't have to be a complete eyesore.

Diana Shi

Diana Shi

New York City metro system. All images courtesy the artist

The Mini Metros project began for Peter Dovak as an attempt to code an iPhone application, derived from the artist’s mock-up before he finally arrived at a series of subway maps that can fit on a pin. Dovak has mapped 60 countries, with multiple systems—from high-speed to light rails. Each tiny metro line follows a preordained set of standards, determined by Dovak, which include lines that are at most three pixels, angles extending no less than 45 degrees, and all metro designs fitting inside a 120-pixel circle. 

Beijing

Madrid

Moscow

Oslo

Milan

Singapore

Seoul

Despite the metro project’s initial failure as an app, the salvaged graphics are a positive spin on public transportation. Dovak covered over 100 different cities from all over the globe. The artist makes an effort to condense each transit so they may fit on a plastic button or t-shirt, while retaining the shape of the train lines so the systems are still recognizable. 

“Most of my projects,” Dovak shares with The Creators Project, “seem to start as experiments or practice pieces that just kind of spiral into bigger things. Previously, I was working on developing an app, and I made a miniaturized map for the Washington Metro, and thought it looked quite neat. I ended up doing similar maps for the rest of the US and Canada, and then decided to do, well, everything.

Shanghai

New York City

Tokyo

He continues, “The process was fairly simple—I used a consistent style and template for each city, and just tried to squeeze everything in there while keeping it as recognizable as possible. The more complex cities like New York and Seoul were very interesting challenges—I enjoyed them the most. It was often more of a challenge to find the official maps for some of the more obscure systems, or ones with no English websites.”

To see more work from the illustrator, visit Peter Dovak’s blog, here.

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