Copenhagen has different modes of public transportation. The S-tog (S-train) has been the backbone of the city. In 2002, the Metro opened lines to connect Amager with the city centre. From 2019 to 2024, two additional metro lines will go through the city centre. From 2025, a new light rail will go around the west of the city.
My goal is to create one rapid transport map for the Copenhagen area
The three different organisations have not coordinated a holistic map. Instead, they issue their own map, omitting other transport means. This proposal combines three route maps to provide passengers with one information overview.
The S-train map (by Damsgård & Lange in the '90s) is a piece of beauty with many references to Danish graphic design traditions. The lines and stations are clear, large and iconic. However, it misses environmental information and a hierarchy to find Copenhagen's key stations.
The Metro map (by Kontrapunkt in 2002) resembles a typical metro map with angular corners and topographic references. Its style is therefor rather anonymous and the different coloured stations feel cluttered.
The Metro will extend its range with two extra lines: M3 in 2019; the city ring through the city centre and M4 from 2020 onwards; a North-South line underneath the city centre. The metro map already integrates these two extra lines. It builds on an abstract version of current metro map, but also drops the topographic background. The circle line becomes an eye catcher, providing a iconic tool to remember the city's structure, like Moscow or the New Paris map.
Parallel to the metro plans, 13 municipalities in the periphery have planned a radial light rail around the city. The 'Ring 3' follows the third ring road and connects six outer S-train stations. As the track and stations are planned, a map is released by Hovedstadens Letbanen. The style also follows international standards and includes an impression of the S-train network. For a single route diagram, it does the job. But the kink in the university area in the north looks somehow out of place to me, and the names of transfer stations are overlapping the S-tog network.
A set of design principles helped to make hard design decisions with ease.
- Show environmental context, but lacking topographical accurracy
- Clear route lines with fewer curves
- Future-proofing for M4 and O3 lines
- Optimising readibility by large and horizontal labels
- Highlighting transfer stations
- Evolving the iconic style of the S-tog map
- In this map, every decision has a big impact. A metro map has only a few parametres to tweak (e.g. stations, labels and routes) with limited amount of options.
- The usage of white spot colours has given a fresh touch avoiding too many pastels.
- Hatches limit the amount of colours and create a calm and sophisticated layout.
Marco Berends. All rights reserved 2019.
December 2018 – February 2019