Russian Designer Wins Subway Design Competition

| October 8, 2013 | 2 Comments
Russian Designer Wins Subway Design Competition

America truly is a melting pot! It’s always exciting to hear about foreigners taking on native Americans (not the Indians) in competition. What caught my attention and inspired me to write a post about this particular champion is that not only is he Russian, but the competition was in the thousands!

So lets do a quick break down of exactly what happened, and why it’s so impressive to me. First off, as a designer there is a plethora of talent in the world and it can be intimidating. When a person from any walk of life says, “Yeah, umm, I think I will take part in this competition against thousands of people… and win” it shows the world they have a serious pair of cojones!

This guy was banking on his design to be the most attractive and easy to read subway map among the pool of thousands of other maps. When you take a look at any map what do you see? To the average person they might see a bunch of lines, colors, and words mashed into a paper with a little speech bubble that says “you are here.”subway

That’s perfectly all right because not everyone can appreciate the time and thought that goes into a piece of work like this– And i’m not trying to bust anyone’s chops. Seriously, the colors that are chosen need to have a contrast that is pleasing to the eye.

The lines need to have a certain thickness so that it is easy to read, but they can’t be too thick as to cause confusion. The font needs to be familiar, and easy to read as well. What size font should be used on a subway map? Do you have any idea? Because I don’t.

I suppose the point i’m trying to draw for you, the reader, is that this Russian dude is just like any other professional.

He has learned and perfected his craft so much that it influenced 17,000 people to say “yes Michael Kvrivishvili from Moscow, you are clearly the bee’s knees. Here is your trophy and have a nice day.”

Something else to take note of: The parameters for this contest was not to make the coolest looking map, but the most readable map that people would want to look at every day.

Kelly Smith, a MBTA spokeswoman said: “We weren’t asking people which one they thought was the coolest, we were asking them which one they would actually want to use on a daily basis.”

Another interesting factoid about this master designer is that he entered in a different subway drawing contest previously and lost… to his employer! It turns out the design company Michael works for has a set of Jedi powers that trickles down from the top. My money is on Michel being the “Luke” of the graphic designer family over there in good ol’ Russia.

Have you heard of any other master designers winning any competitions lately? If so, make sure to leave a lengthy and drawn out comment below. I love to hear from my readers!

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Category: Design News

About the Author ()

Anthony is an Australian native with a knack for world traveling. His passion for art and design has taken him to many countries where he enjoys seeing and learning new things. While aimlessly browsing the internet, Anthony will occasionally find something worth while to share on his blog. He loves learning from other people so while reading the blog make sure to leave a comment or question so we can keep a conversation for the world to benefit from! You can also find him on Google+

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  1. Mike says:

    I frequently use the city transit system here in Boston. The maps here are actually not terribly hard to read, but this new one is much friendlier to the eye. I haven’t seen it up around town yet, but when I do I will make sure to shoot a picture for you :)

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