MA Studies > Editorial design > Editorial design alumnus > Maciej Janus

Maciej Janus

pulic transport maps

Everyday we are guided by various charts, diagrams and graphs. They show us the way and simplify the information for us. They make our lives easier but sometimes frustrate us when we simply don’t understand the given solution. In one way or another, maps have been a part of our lives since the very beginning of the human evolution. Drawings on stone or in the sand with a stick have evolved, over many years, into a composition of massive information that we see in today’s maps.

A map is a story of a place, an event or a situation. It represents and translates the complex information and data about structure and form into a two dimensional format.  It’s a layer of information that designers have to simplify, using “sexy” and “cool” elements and design tricks, for easy communication of information to a general audience.

Maps have to be memorable. They are icons of the city. In some cases, like London for example, after the introduction of a simple design for the tube underground by Henry Beck’s in 1931, the whole map and logo of the underground system become one of the most recognizable symbols around the world.

During this year, I would like to delve into the cartography pool, and base my research on collecting and comparing existing maps in the public transport domain. I will try to understand the whole graphic structure of thematic maps in certain categories such as weather, history and language. I will see where modern cartography is going in the future and what new tools we can develop with digital media. The object of the research will be to define what are the best graphic solutions and why. With all that knowledge, I would like to design a map for the tram system in my home town city of Wroclaw, which is the fourth largest city in Poland and has the oldest tram system in the country starting in July 10, 1877. The tram system consists of 23 lines and covers 250 km of track throughout the city. As of now, there is really no official map of the tram system. There are just some design solutions distributed by the city hall or people interested in the subject. But the results of these can be very confusing and hard to read.