We designed a brand-new map of the Moscow Metro. It shows what the transport system will be like in ten years.
Three new diameters , and two new radial lines will be built, and the Big Circle line will become a complete circle.
The map has changed as the transit system has evolved.
The “circle and radials” principle was at the core of the map design for a long time. The Circle line rounded the city’s center where most of the transfer stations were located. Outside the Circle line, other lines were simplified to the point of being simple station lists.
Starting in the 2010s the construction of new metro stations outside the city center became extensive. Reconstructed railway lines became a part of the metro system. The increasing complexity of the network called for the search of new ways to make a map, since the current version no longer reflected the geography of the city.
The metro map 2030 shows the Moscow transportation system geographically.
Lines go beyond the Moscow Ring Road (MKAD) up to the cities near Moscow. The Moscow Ring Road (MKAD) becomes an important element of the map as it is the border of the main part of Moscow. Its contour helps to find your way on the map and plan the time of a trip.
Lines which show the real geography look like a skein and are difficult to navigate through. We unwound all the complex intersections at the central part of the city and schematically showed the bending of lines outside of downtown. This approach helps one to understand a very complex transport system, allows for easier navigation, and makes it possible to juxtapose metro and city maps.
Rings have become a symbol of Moscow. Everything in Moscow obeys the logic of rings: Boulevard and Garden rings, Moscow Ring Road, and the Circle metro line.
The MCC and the Big Circle line are now out of the traditional Moscow logic. These two new rings are not round, and their lines intersect each other. The main challenge of the new design is the rings.
A circular line is a closed line with transfers. Its shape doesn’t matter. For example, the circular line on the London Tube map is shaped like a bottle, and this shape is easy to memorize.
We looked for many solutions for new rings while creating this map.
When looking for a shape we wanted it to meet three requirements: visual equability (no empty or packed spaces), ease in finding your way and a recognizable shape of rings.
We made the historical Circle line round, but new circular lines and are hexagonal. This approach takes into account the further evolvement of the metro. Hexagons became the basis for a rare, yet graphically elegant, grid with 60° angles.
The graphic grid is the invisible guides that form the composition.
In 1980s a 45° grid was used to design the official Moscow Metro map. This is the most popular technique in schematic map design in the world. In 1931 Harry Beck designed the first 45° grid for the London tube. Since then it has become the standard for transport map design.
For the new metro map, we have tried a completely new approach to the grid. Instead of the four 45° axes forming the schematic drawing, we only use three 60° axes. This grid allowed us to create elegant and eye-pleasing bends of lines.
Since 2015 the design of the Moscow city wayfinding system has been changing. All constructions on the streets and stations reserved for metro maps have become round. The round format is the main one for the map, though it easily adapts to rectangular formats used in train cars.
The design of transfers between stations is one of the most important elements of a transport map.
First maps of the Moscow Metro used arrows to show transfers, explaining to passengers that they can get from one line to another.
The graphics are not that complicated now. Since 2013 transfers have been drawn as "dumbbells" — paired rings with gradient transitions between colours. This works well when there are few hubs.
The increasing complexity of the transport system requires a new solution for hubs. We have developed a design called "capsule". Outlines of transfers are rich in contrast and are easy to understand.
The Big Circle line crosses almost all existing metro lines and creates a new transfer ring. In order to make it stand out among coloured lines, we decided to make it anthracite — almost black but not as intense. This colour creates the desired contrast.
Anthracite was chosen by analogy with the brown colour of the Circle line . The Big Circle line is turquoise on the current map, as it is a continuation of the existing Kakhovskaya line. Anthracite has more contrast and helps to plan the route easier.
The colour choice for transport systems is a complicated process that can only be done taking into account the prospects of future development. A few years ago we did some research on the colour-coding of diameters and developed a set of colours that had not previously been used.
We suggest simplifying the complicated names “Moscow Central Ring” and “Moscow Central Diameters”. The MCC and MCD are related to each other by their railway history. They can become a part of the surface metro system: Koltso (Circle) and Diameters – and .
The MCC received number as a metro line. We propose to assign the MCC a graphic sign that is similar to the diameters logo. And the 14 number can be used for new underground lines.
Metro map 2030 is our vision of the future city. By creating this map, we want to launch a discussion about future graphic solutions for the identity of Moscow.
The idea of the new Moscow Metro map came into picture after the successful completion of the Paris Metro map project. Many graphic solutions designed for Paris helped to create this map for Moscow.