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Contextual and Theoretical Studies (Information Design - London Underground) - Essay Example

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Contextual and Theoretical Studies (Information Design - London Underground) (Name) (University) (Course) (Tutor) (Date) Introduction Diagrams are normally studied for various reasons and chief among them is the fact that diagrams are easier to understand than pictures and other forms of art such as paintings…
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Contextual and Theoretical Studies (Information Design - London Underground)

Download file to see previous pages... This is normally not the case with other forms of art where it is not possible to know what part of the piece was intended for communication and what information it was intended to pass to the viewers. These reasons therefore argue for the case why people may choose a diagram to analyse at the expense of other forms of art (Penrice, 1975). The London underground diagram is used to communicate to ordinary people in the London underground railway system but due to the fact that people have gotten very familiar with it, they tend to ignore it and therefore fail to utilise the information that it provides. It was expected that the diagram would receive a lot of attention from the citizens of the country as well as British art critics due to the fact that the London underground diagram is considered a master piece of art of the twentieth century. Another reason that there should have been more appreciation directed to the diagram is the fact that a lot of artists of the United Kingdom have their residences in London as it is considered a centre for art and culture. It is therefore this reason that studying the diagram is important in order to understand how it communicates to the people of London in the city’s underground railway network (Walker, 1979). History of the London underground diagram The LUD idea dates back to 1931 and was brought by an artist named Henry C. Becks but was first rejected on the argument that it was a very revolutionary piece of art. This rejection was however over turned and the diagram was accepted in 1933 at the expense of Stingmore’s map. It is important to note that Beck, the original designer of the diagram, was also responsible for the various subsequent revisions that were carried out on the diagram to reflect the additions of various lines of the London underground railway line system. The reason why Beck chose to use a diagram instead of a map was as a result of a thorough evaluation of the needs of the public in terms of the need for clarity of the diagram rather than geographical accuracy. The fact that there were additions of various lines to the underground system made it impossible to maintain a geographically correct diagram and therefore the only option was to ensure that the diagram was clear to the public in the sense that they could see clearly the various lines and the outline of the underground train system (Penrice, 1975). The diagram as a map The diagram has been referred to as a map by various artists as well as ordinary people but it should be noted that this reference has been discredited due to various reasons. Most of the critics have argued that diagrams do not possess some of the unique and communicative features found in maps and therefore cannot be referred to as maps. It is however important to note that a further study by various academicians revealed that there are various common characteristics that are shared between maps and diagrams and therefore it is not wrong to refer to diagrams as maps. The main argument about the differences is due to the specific characteristics of maps as they are used to depict actual pieces of earth although in a much smaller size and on a piece of paper. It is also clear that maps are used to reduce ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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