"Infotainment? What the hell are you talking about?"

Paris Metro revisited

Those of you who remember the first post I did on Harry Beck's design for the Paris metro will be pleased to find here his second version of 1951, all in color and geometric confusion.
This type of overgeometric map is quite pleasing to the eyes, but since in Paris people also like to use their metro maps as street maps, it would be hard to imagine stepping up to a metro entrance in the middle of the night and try to pinpoint your geographic position in the city on this kind of map and find your way around.
My neighborhood's stations look amazingly unfamiliar, especially since line 3 is not horizontal anymore on this one.

This Metro pocket map, issued by a private publisher in 1939 is even more confusing and abstract. No one would even vaguely be able to get around Paris with this wacky mesh, looking more like a decaying piece of cloth than a metro map.
The same detail view onto my neighborhood is distinctly confusing. Maybe it is also because of the small size of this map.

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3 Responses to “Paris Metro revisited”

  1. # Blogger Lala

    I got confused at first. I reread what did you write and now I understand. Yeah, I thought I can go to Paris from London by Paris Metro. This is just local LRT lol.  

  2. # Blogger ratatouille's archives

    Bonjour! Cedric,
    hmmm...very interesting!
    Merci!...For Sharing!
    Deedee ;-D  

  3. # Blogger MapMark

    These images are taken from a new book about the design of the Paris Metro. (  

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    I am Cedric, discoverer of things that would go unnoticed in the streets of Paris, historic haven of fashionistas and city of lights ('lights' as in 'enlightenment', not street lights).
    But seriously: I'm an expat from Luxembourg (the country, not the garden), living in the center of Paris (hence 'Paris 2nd arrondissement'), and currenlty studying architectural history...

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