Harry Beck: The Paris Connection


Detail from Harry Beck’s 1951 Paris Metro map design (which was rejected by the city’s transport authorities). Used by kind permission London Transport Museum
The Royal Mail recently commem­orated one of the UK’s greatest works of visual infor­mation design when Harry Beck’s London Underground diagram was included for the first time on a British postage stamp writes Mark Ovenden. The impor­tance of Beck’s rectilinear, topologic 1933 diagram is widely recognised and praised by graphic designers. Many wonder why Beck never extended his ideas outside London. The answer is, he did – to the nearest major subway network to London: Paris.

DESIGNER

Worthing, West Sussex

INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER

Frome, Somerset

SENIOR DESIGNER

Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire