We can't get enough of subway maps, whether they're smooth, designed for people who hate reading, or reimagined as concentric circles. All of those maps are indebted to the groundbreaking work of Massimo Vignelli, the Modernist subway map designer who died in 2014—and the same is true for the latest variation on the map, courtesy of Triboro Design. But as you may have noticed in the photos, there's one big colorful difference this time.
Triboro Design is run by husband-and-wife team David Heasty and Stefanie Weigler, graphic designers who moved to New York in the early 2000s. They came up with two designs for their Wrong Color Subway Maps after being disappointed in the regular map: "It’s just not really nicely designed," Heasty told the Wall Street Journal. "When you’re in a city like London, that map is gorgeous and huge, and you can buy one at the stations and hang it on your wall."
The couple first came up with a fluorescent red poster called the One Color Subway Map in 2010. Six years later, they wanted to tweak the design, and they tried hundreds of different options before landing on the final two versions, which are based on the RGB (red, blue, green) and CMY (cyan, magenta, yellow) color system, "using only the most inappropriate colors."
“As designers, we know we can’t solve the larger issues, but instead we can give commentary on the subway and the idea of confusion in an art piece,” Heasty added to WSJ. "As a New Yorker, you use the subway every day, how can you not be interested in that? It’s a fascinating place where people intermingle and squish together, and it’s awesome and infuriating at the same time."
Both posters are available to purchase here in the original 45”x58” poster size.