The process of creating a Minsk Metro Map. Part Two

The process of creating a Minsk Metro Map: Part One · Two · Three · Four

In this note, I am going to talk about the design process of the metro map in March and April. Many people were surprised that it took us 8 months to make a map. I want to make a clarification. We dedicated to work no more than 8 hours a week on the map. In total, I spent 200 hours on this project.


During the month of March, we worked to find a proper visual language. After we studied Ilya’s edits, we rebuilt the older version. First, the descents of the lines that were on different levels have become smoother.

The following were the trees. We have collected a folder with pictures of trees. Some of them impressed us:

We were inspired and made a new version. We tried different colors and added details for the buildings. We made new trees and a new river. We added gradient transition. We smoothed down the lines and added the shadow of the city center. Stations that placed outside of the city center were shown as list with stations names.

Ilya answered us:

Parks, trees, river – amazing.

But in general, everything is formless. Half of the square is empty. On the central island you can clearly shrink part of the space. The font size of the park names is too small. You need to fill the empty quarters somehow with something else. There are too many breaks at the river behind the center.

Half of the red metro line is not named. It seems that to go from station Kupalauskaya to Pershamayskaya it takes a week. II’m not in favor of the shadow that the city center throws onto the map.

In general, the form does not seem that beautiful, and the whole is more important than details. This does not mean that the details are not important. It only means that if with details everything is fine, and in general it turns out not very much, then it does not work.

And here I had an idea. If the form of center of the city seems not beautiful, then it is necessary to use a circle for shape. Therefore, we need to redraw the center of the city completely. I quickly made a draft and sent it to the art director.

Ilya said he liked the idea and asked to try to make the metro lines symmetrical. We draw cubes for the building that we were planning to add. Also we added a green metro line. This is the rough layout of the result:

Ilya’s answer:

We need to squeeze or fill the free quarters on the map.

Circles are for nothing darker than lines. Need a new font, this one does not work. The logo of the subway that you have is not very attractive, the current one is better.

We need to redraw everything from scratch. I made the draft in notepad.

It became clear that the streets should be drawn at 45 degrees (breaking the geography parameters). It looks aesthetically more pleasing, and it became easier to draw.


In April, we worked on city. We made all streets to be under 45 °. Everything got a little bigger. Also we added a green metro line. We begin to draw hills and trees in the parks. After all, the center of the city accidentally appeared as wink smile.

Ilya writes:

We must shorten the distance between Kastrychnitskaya station and Ploscha Peramogi station and somehow get the intersection of the red and blue lines in the center of the circle.

The color of the stops is different from the color of the lines.

The green metro line is poorly seen over the park.

I made a new prototype of the map and showed to Ilya.

At the same time, I decided to try new designations of stations in the center and behind it. Behind the center-ordinary square, in the center – rectangle.

The answer of the art director:

Parks should be made smoother, especially where the green metro line is. Let’s just do it without a legend. Let’s try to type everything on the map.

It is necessary to understand the useful information that we will have placed below. Working hours? Tickets?

The shapes of stations in the center aren’t good.

The top stations of the blue metro line near the circle you should write on the right. You need to make the river look less bright.

Contrast of the font size between central and non-central metro stations should be made larger or just don’t do it.

Let’s fix the transliteration?!

The process of creating a Minsk Metro Map: Part One · Two · Three · Four

The latest version of the Minsk Metro Map.

Dec 15   map