How a Map Healed Berlin

May 15, 2023 | History, Social, Videos

Designer Erik Spiekermann is the man behind one of the most iconic maps in Germany – the map for Berlin’s newly unified public transport network. This revolutionary concept was created shortly after reunification and the fall of the Berlin Wall, thereby connecting East and West Berlin for the first time ever.

Spiekermann’s impressive design process included extensive research, interviews with locals, and gaining an understanding of how each line operated. Despite a backdrop of political uncertainty, he was able to focus on creating a unified, efficient, and beautiful map to unite the people of Berlin.

Spiekermann achieved his goal by keeping three main points in mind: simplicity, clarity, and understanding. He chose colors that were easy to distinguish from one another and used consistent spacing between stops, making it easier for travelers to find their way around. He also incorporated symbols like arrows into his design so that passengers could quickly tell which direction they were traveling in without getting confused.

The result was a stunningly detailed map that has been seen all over Europe and even featured in museums such as MoMA in New York City. It truly encapsulates the spirit of unity and progress that followed after reunification—with Spiekermann at its helm—and stands as a testament to what can be achieved when we work together.

For those looking to learn more about this incredible feat of engineering, there’s now a documentary about it called “Berlin Map Story” where viewers can get an inside look at how this incredible map came to be. From hearing stories directly from Spiekermann himself to being taken through each step of his design process, viewers can get an up close look at how one man changed history with his vision for unification through transportation. So if you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating story and seeing firsthand why Spiekermann’s map continues to be celebrated today then be sure to check out “Berlin Map Story”!

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David B