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Stingemore, Frederick

Frederick Stingemore designed the London Underground maps produced between 1926-1932. His contribution has been rather eclipsed by the reputations of the designers who came before (MacDonald Gill), and particularly Harry Beck, who followed him, and whose diagrammatic approach revolutionised the mapping of urban public transport networks. It was Gill who had removed the surface topography completely, including the River Thames, leaving behind a clean but still geographically recognisable design. Stingemore reinstated the Thames as a single point of topographical reference, and it was his idea to slightly expand the central area of the map for ease of reading. His more readily legible choice of font was better suited than that of Gill’s to the small folding passenger maps which are still given away at Tube stations today. Although this format had been tried before, it was Stingemore who first popularised this format. And Stingemore’s map was the starting point for Beck's iconic progression of the design.