Vector Maps: Mexico City Pocket Diagram, c. 2012

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This interesting little diagram was posted on Twitter recently and brought to my attention by some of my followers.

Its owner, Moritz Bernoully, said that it was purchased with a little plastic wallet from a vendor in the Mexico City Metro in 2012 (just before Line 12 opened and made this diagram redundant), and he doesn’t think that it’s an officially-produced diagram because of that provenance. It certainly looks cheaply made, as it’s just one-colour printing on a small sheet of paper.

Despite that single colour, this little diagram makes a truly heroic effort to depict the massive Metro network, using large numbers and all the possible tints of purple that it can to differentiate between all the lines as best it can. Most routes can be followed with a little bit of effort, though some are harder than others (Line 1’s route gets a little hazy as it winds its way across the centre of the diagram, for example).

The diagram is mainly notable for its use of the famous Mexico City Metro icons for termini and interchange stations, which is actually pretty smart thinking. It’s something that the official map could consider, in my opinion. Some of the icons don’t reproduce that well in tints of purple, but it’s enough to get the idea across. The other bit of “out of the box” thinking is the use of a space-saving star glyph in the station name “Cerro de la Estrella” – clever!

Our final word: While this diagram isn’t going to win any design awards, it’s simple, compact and does a lot of hard work with very limited materials. Two-and-a-half stars.

Source: Moritz Bernoully/Twitter

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