NYC subway-map designer Massimo Vignelli has died: Take a virtual tour of the system

Did you know that almost every station sign has its own unique design? It's true, take a look.

Image: Courtesy

Earlier today, news came that Massimo Vignelli, the Italian-born graphic designer behind the iconic, if sometimes perplexing, subway map from the 1970s, had died at age 83. The map is a constant reminder that signs play a huge role in getting around the subway (even if you can’t see them sometimes, or figure them out). Enter another graphic designer, freelance art director and photographer Adam Chang, who happened to notice one day, just how different the station sign at Bleecker Street was from all the others in the subway. Then he realized that pretty much every station sign was different from one another. This epiphany proved to be the inspiration for his website, On it, you’ll find icons for each line in the system. Click on one, and you can travel from one end of the line to the other, with each station represented by an exact graphic depiction of its sign. It’s a fascinating time-suck, and a good way to familiarize yourself not only with all of stations signs in the subway, but also the ones on your regular route that you tend to ignore.