#76: IT'S AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE, BUT NOT SIMPLER. Albert Einstein once remarked that ‘everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler’. This valuable maxim is exemplified by Simon Parker’s London Cycle Map, which has succeeded in depicting the London Cycle Network in a way that is as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Because London’s cycle routes form an extremely complex network, any map that represents the majority of them can’t be any simpler than those routes are in reality. That’s why Parker’s map looks so squiggly, and why people complain, superficially, that it is too complex. Any decent London Cycle Map has to be complex enough to accommodate all the routes of the London Cycle Network.
Yet Parker’s map is not just a faithful representation but an exquisite simplification of those routes. In representing them as a series of parallel coloured lines, his design shows how you could get from anywhere to anywhere in the capital by following a few straight coloured routes which are waymarked by road paint and signs all along on the streets of the London Cycle Network.
Let’s erect the signs and paint the roads, and make cycling in London as simple as possible.