01 June 2007

[design, cartography] Revisiting The Cherriots Redesign

823 In the incredible series of bonehead moves that caused me to erase my own work hard drive last year, one of the things was undergoing is a redesign of the look of the online map for the Cherriots bus system down in Salem (being my route to and from high school most of the time, I have a sentimental connection to it.

The hard drive problem and a series of minor personal setbacks caused me to drop a lot of projects. This was one of them, which was sad in as much as I was quite enjoying it.

I did do a series of backups, though not to the completion level that I actually had gotten to, though I do have enough of an Illustrator file version (this is/was being done in AI) that I can start it up again.

For review, here's the current online version of the Cherriots system map:

I found it less than ideal for a variety of reasons (I'm not saying it's bad, I'm saying it doesn't work for me: most every designer looks at something they'd like to do and wonder if they couldn't do it better, or at least differently, and I love maps). Here's the last version I was able to recover out of the file dump:

I revised and expanded the visual grammar on this one, coming up with a standard route number symbol and convention as well as increasing the net informational throw weight by providing simplified geography as a background and keeping that graphically dialled-back (primarily by depending on grays) allowing the route network to stay "up-front" while providing a real-world reference.

The version I had worked up to had Park-and-Rides and public parks, and I was working on a downtown inset, amongst other things.

I don't have the time to do it right now, but at earliest I'm going to be doing a search of this blog for the other posting I did on the subject and tie them into this post (at least to provide the history, and mostly to give myself the chance to get a bit of perspective on what I did do, and to help me to determine where I need to next take the work).

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