The maze of red lines, blue, green, yellow, ochre and purple, which intersect with the streets and squares, for more than fifty years is the design most well-known to the world by millions of tourists are gone, at least once, from New York. The "father" of the subway map, the most famous of the history he lived in East Meadow, Long Island, but for weeks was in the hospital. In the mid - '70s, the Mta, the company that manages the links by metro and bus to New York, asked Hertz to make a map that would help not only the citizens and tourists to move between the underground lines of what was considered to be a maze puzzle, as to be called "The Labyrinth", but that would make the experience more human than it was in the past.
Until that time, there was a map drawn by an Italian, Massimo Vignelli, and that he had made in '72 but that had failed because it had not put in relation to the subsoil of the city with its surface. The map of Vignelli is over to the MoMa for its quality of art, but had not passed the practical test of every day life.
the One that instead got the map of Hertz. His intuition was that of designing not only the layout of the lines connecting the various suburbs of New York city, from Harlem to Brooklyn, from Queens to the Upper West Side, but to be able to identify the geographic point of connections, putting you on the same map is the map of connections is that of the city.
Not only that, Hertz took care of the path of the train in a way that is so precise to indicate the bends. It was immediately a success and a valuable guide for millions of people, to the point to be reproduced within the stations in the panels to the giants and followed by the cities around the world. In these fifty years, the map was continually updated, on the basis of the development of the network, but without changing the original graphics.
"Mike is a genius," commented Charles Gordanier, of the Mta - all new yorkers have in their head the clear image of his map". Born 1 August of '32 in Brooklyn, Hertz is graduate in Fine arts at Queens College in '54, before spending two years in the army and then working for Walt Disney as the artistic director of the trailer-promotional film. In the '60s, the decisive step: Hertz began to draw maps of Houston and Washington, and then those of various airports, up to the work that made him immortal: the map of New York city. A job that brought him joy up to the last times. "I is always a pleasure - had confessed a few years ago - look to the metro station, and someone that see my map. I feel like I give him a hand to move".
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