In search of a creative challenge—award winning Brooklyn studio Triboro set out to design an alternative New York subway map. The result is a stunning large format print that appeals both to fans of New York City and design enthusiasts alike.
Starting from a blank slate, Triboro questioned how the world’s most notorious transit system had been traditionally represented. According to the designers, “Our goal was to offer a paradox of information design. We are suggesting a myriad of functional improvements to the way the subway has been presented in the past—improving on visual hierarchy, geographic accuracy and aesthetic harmony. Simultaneously we are subverting these improvements by swapping out all the ‘correct’ colors with ‘wrong’ ones, thereby challenging the accepted orthodoxies of information design. Subway lines have traded their familiar shades for vibrant alternatives and for the rivers, parks and landmasses, we chose the most inappropriate and illogical colors we could think of.” Triboro dubbed their creation the Wrong Color Subway Map.
The map has been released in two different editions inspired by the RGB and CMYK color models. For designers there are really two modes of thinking about color, the additive and subtractive systems, or RGB and CMYK as they are more commonly known. Incorporating a mix of process colors and vibrant neon Pantones, each edition has its own personality. The RGB Edition is sleek and bold. The CMY Edition is friendly and glowing.
The prints are massive, 45 x 58 in (1143 x 1473 mm), and the size is identical to the official Subway maps that hang in the NYC subway station platforms. Triboro’s maps are printed in Germany on the most advanced Heidelberg presses and using the highest quality heavyweight matte paper.
CMY Edition: Cyan, Neon Pink, Yellow
RGB Edition: Red, Neon Green, Blue, Black
Size: 45 x 58 in / 1143 x 1473 mm
Printing: 6 color offset + matte UV coating
Paper: Igepa Profisilk 250 gsm / 90 lb cover