Digital Artefact 4-Going Underground


When I was growing up in London in 60s (ahem) my friends and I would think nothing of travelling across the city unaccompanied. I vividly remember travelling unaccompanied, aged ten, to Heathrow from Winchmore Hill to watch the planes. Equally, sent to Chalk Farm station aged thirteen to buy 30 Roundhouse theatre tickets by my school on the morning of the performance (with the appropriate bundle of cash).

Devon line 2d

Equally I remember watching Dr Who in the 60s and seeing Yetis and Daleks roaming the deserted and cobweb strung tunnels unchecked. Another fond memory was taking the the the train on the Isle of Wight. This railway used old Underground trains and therefore mixed rural idyls with London trains.

So I can say I have a sentimental fondness for the system. The art of the Tube is very simple, effective and iconic. I have wanted to create tube maps using the fonts, iconography and those wonderful primary colours. Our recent trip to London stimulated me to produce a route a map of my local area with stations that would offer me the convenient travel of my childhood.

Devon Line Map pdf



I created the map in Autodesk’s Graphic (formally known as iDraw) as the preloaded icons would be very useful.

Initially I created a long, thin box populating it with black circles and small boxes representing the stations. The maps have evolved over the years so I chose from reference images what I wanted to use and gave them a slight twist to make them different. Additionally I used the TfL (Transport for London)style guide for more detailed notes. I used the “London” font which is an approximation of the copyright Patterson font used in TfL (Transport for London) literature and signage. I chose stations that would useful including the college at Vantage Point.

I produced a pdf and having had a previous chat with printing services I knew they offered banner production. Unfortunately I could only estimate dimensions because I was not sure which line we would be using and they have different widths. I therefore printed three times and trimmed by eye. I obtained a very low tac glue to secure the image over the existing map.

Unfortunately, the train at Paddington was crowded but a suitable site presented itself. I applied the glue to the existing map  and fixed my replacement. Not an absolute fit as expected. Placed my models  and recorded the image using an  Fz1000. The banner was then removed and the glue wiped off the  train map.


The banner fitted except for lower edge and the length was too short on the right.

A section of age rail under the map was copied and then stretched across to give a straight edge. The area to the the right was cloned out.

The white balance was corrected and the picture manipulated to sharpen and correct underexposure.

Screenshots of method.

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Civil disobedience is a departure for me but I think the end result is mildly amusing. I am very pleased with the route maps themselves and I think I will make more (for framing not trains).

Although I could have done this by compositing I think it is more  “authentic”. My original collaborators took a different tube and I had to use stand ins. I was was very keen to  get the map and down with minimal time. I could have spent more time on those shoes. In haste I had shot in jpg when my intention was to shoot in RAW.


TfL publication guide (Citation Needed)

Reference pictures  (Citation Needed)

Vantage Point

Single station Image


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