ARTLEBEDEV
  • Metro
  • Moscow Metro passageway navigation

    • OverviewProcess
    Task:
    to create navigation for 96 stations.

    A Unified System of City Navigation has been in development in Moscow since 2013. The project comprises several areas: the Metro, ground transport, pedestrian streets and transfer junctions. One of the stages of the project is the installation of navigation in Metro passageways. Based on the concept developed by the Moscow Department for Transport, mock-ups of navigation elements for Metro stations and a guide on designing maps and preparing texts were created at the studio.

    Exit numbers

    Underground passageways are connected with exits from Metro stations. Their layout is complex, some of the stations have up to ten exits. To make it easier for passengers to find their way, the exits are now numbered.

    Exit numbering was suggested by City ID as part of the Unified System of City Navigation. Similar exit numbering can be seen in Tokyo and Hong Kong.

    Exits at Konkovo station
    The first stage of implementation covered only underground passageways and station entrances

    Information signs

    When we started adding information to navigation signs, we ran into a problem. In the ideal world each navigation sign is big in size, beautifully illuminated, located in the most visible area, contains a single word and has elves fluttering around.

    The reality is a bit different. We have a passageway two inches high and one inch wide and we need to place a sign there in such a way so that passengers don’t hit it with their head. And very close are eight churches, forty six historical monuments, fourteen shopping centers, five libraries, three parks and one small but very proud country. Get to work!

    This is where information planning begins.

    1. The city navigation concept stipulates that signs should contain only the necessary information. The main direction pointers on the signs are streets and landmarks that scored highest in our rating. They are firmly associated with the station and have high social significance.

    2. Smaller typeface is used to display information about other important landmarks nearby.

    3. Navigation connects the Metro with train stations, airports, suburban trains and buses, all of these are important transit hubs.

    Ranging nearby streets and landmarks

    90% of information planning involved efforts to keep only the most important information on the signs. A carefully designed system was created that automatically determines what qualifies as the most important information.

    Landmarks are awarded points based on a variety of parameters. Can it be seen from the Metro exit? Add a point. Does it have high urban value? Add another one.

    The ranging removes any subjectivity and human interference.

    Landmarks with the highest number of points become main destinations on signs, those with lower become additional



    Before

    After

    Previously, navigation at the outskirts of the city was arranged following the best traditions of municipal formalism. All fourteen exits could easily lead to the same Profsoyuznaya Street and the signs were quick to offer helpful information: Left for Profsoyuznaya! Right for Profsoyuznaya! Do what you will.

    We started displaying building numbers for the closest buildings and directions to the nearest streets on signs. This helps find your bearings and distinguish one side of and endless avenue from the other.

    The fractional part of the building number is never used



    Comfort

    Passengers read different types of signs from different distances, which is why a special typeface size was chosen for each sign type.

    Size S
    Passengers read the sign at the fork by the station exit on the go, from a very short distance, roughly 5–7 meters (16′–22′)
    Size M
    Passengers read the sign with the exit name while moving in the flow, gradually getting closer to the fork, from a distance of about 10–12 meters (33′–40′)
    Size L
    The sign marking the entrance to the station should be visible throughout the entire passageway, on average starting at a distance of 20–23 meters (66′–75′)

    Predictability of information on signs

    In long passageways pedestrians often get the feeling they got lost and are moving in the wrong direction. Even if they just saw a sign, a couple of minutes later they get the same anxiety: “What if I missed my turn?”

    That’s why the information on navigation signs is duplicated and repeated. The closer to the exit, the more detailed the list of the nearest streets and landmarks becomes.

    Predictability of information on signs

    In long passageways pedestrians often get the feeling they got lost and are moving in the wrong direction. Even if they just saw a sign, a couple of minutes later they get the same anxiety: “What if I missed my turn?”

    That’s why the information on navigation signs is duplicated and repeated. The closer to the exit, the more detailed the list of the nearest streets and landmarks becomes.

    1. Signs inherit information

    2. All primary and additional directions move on to following signs

    3. The closer the sign is to an exit, the more detailed it is

    4. At any moment, pedestrians can look at a map

    Maps and indexes

    Stations now have maps with a detailed alphabetic index. Map graphics and index layouts were improved at the studio.



    Rules for drawing maps and adding information to them are collected in a separate guide.

    Language

    Special attention was given to the Russian and English wording for navigation media. A detailed guide was created with rules of spelling, translation, transliteration, abbreviation and typography of names of all possible city objects and place names used in navigation.

    Overall, 2500 sign mock-ups and over 500 maps for 96 stations were created for the project.

    Sokolnicheskaya line
    Frunzenskaya
    Sportivnaya
    Vorobyovy Gory
    Yugo-Zapadnaya
    Troparevo
    Rumyantsevo
    Salaryevo

    Zamoskvoretskaya line
    Rechnoy Vokzal
    Vodny Stadion
    Kolomenskaya
    Tsaritsyno
    Orekhovo
    Domodedovskaya
    Alma-Atinskaya

    Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line
    Pyatnitskoe Shosse
    Mitino
    Volokolamskaya
    Strogino
    Krylatskoe
    Park Pobedy
    Pervomayskaya

    Filevskaya line
    Vystavochnaya
    Delovoy Tsentr

    Kaluzhsko-Rizhskaya line
    Medvedkovo
    Sviblovo
    Alekseevskaya
    Rizhskaya
    Sukharevskaya
    Turgenevskaya
    Kitay-Gorod
    Tretyakovskaya
    Shabolovskaya
    Novye Cheremushki
    Konkovo
    Yasenevo
    Novoyasenevskaya

    Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya line
    Planernaya
    Skhodnenskaya
    Tushinskaya
    Spartak
    Oktyabrskoe Pole
    Begovaya
    Barrikadnaya
    Kuznetsky Most
    Kitay-Gorod
    Proletarskaya
    Kuzminki
    Vykhino
    Lermontovsky Prospekt
    Zhulebino
    Kotelniki

    Kalininskaya line
    Marksistskaya
    Novogireevo
    Novokosino

    Serpukhovsko-Timiryazevskaya line
    Altufyevo
    Bibirevo
    Otradnoe
    Petrovsko-Razumovskaya
    Timiryazevskaya
    Dmitrovskaya
    Savelovskaya
    Mendeleevskaya
    Tsvetnoy Bulvar
    Polyanka
    Serpukhovskaya
    Tulskaya
    Nagornaya
    Nakhimovsky Prospekt
    Sevastopolskaya
    Chertanovskaya
    Yuzhnaya
    Prazhskaya
    Annino

    Lyublinsko-Dmitrovskaya line
    Seligerskaya
    Verkhnie Likhobory
    Okruzhnaya
    Fonvizinskaya
    Butyrskaya
    Maryina Roscha
    Dostoevskaya
    Trubnaya
    Chkalovskaya
    Rimskaya
    Krestyanskaya Zastava
    Dubrovka
    Kozhukhovskaya
    Volzhskaya
    Lyublino
    Maryino
    Borisovo
    Shipilovskaya
    Zyablikovo

    Kakhovskaya line
    Kakhovskaya
    Varshavskaya

    Butovskaya line
    Lesoparkovaya
    Ulitsa Starokachalovskaya

    artistic director

    • Artemy Lebedev

    art director

    • Ludwig Bistronovsky

    designers

    • Mark Rodionov
    • Dmitry Frolov
    • Sergey Nikolaev
    • Valery Tolchanov
    • Petr Baturintsev
    • Sergey Steblina
    • Egor Zhgun
    • Anna Balabas
    • Yaroslav Bondarenko

    technical designers

    • Roman Beno
    • Marina Vorobieva
    • Egor Kosolapov
    • Regina Krupnova
    • Anastasia Pashedko
    • Egor Popov
    • Polina Suchkova
    • Svyatoslav Fedorov

    illustrator

    • Pavel Zyumkin

    consultant

    • Bogdan Kravtsov

    editors

    • Katerina Andreeva
    • Aleksandr Nosikov
    • Anna Potapkina

    proofreader

    • Ilya Krokhin

    translator

    • Tatiana Kozlova

    project managers

    • Veronika Yankovskaya
    • Vsevolod Ivanov
    • Olga Kallaur
    • From Mosogrtransniiproekt

     

    information planners

    • Yulia Prusakova
    • Konstantin Kalinin
    • Tagir Fatekhov
    • Varvara Melnichenko

    administrator

    • Maksim Sverchkov

    cartographer

    • Aleksey Melnichenko

    project manager

    • Alina Veselova
    • From Geocenter Consulting:

     

    cartographers

    • Konstantin Makin
    • Yulia Materikina
    • Vyacheslav Semenov

    project managers

    • Sergei Filippov
    • Konstantin Melnikov
    • The studio wishes to thank Petr Barsukov, Dmitry Feoktistov and Ivan Petrov for their help with the project.
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