Frank Lloyd Wright-themed CTA map hits the streets

UK map researcher designs transit map using Wright glass designs

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Chicago area residents can get a double shot of the Windy City with a new decorative CTA map done in the style of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Maxwell Roberts, a psychology professor at the University of Essex in the U.K. who researches the effective design of transit maps, recently released the Wright map and he said they're already selling fast.

The map draws from Wright's stained-glass designs in the artistic replication of Chicago's el map. 

Roberts, who has published a number of books and publications on map design, tells Wednesday Journal that he first became interested in the idea because of his love of stained-glass designs.

"I've long admired the work of Frank Lloyd Wright," he said. "He's one of the master stained-glass window designers."

The decorative map isn't Roberts' first; he's also reproduced transit maps from other cities in art nouveau and art deco styles.

Roberts designs transit maps professionally for ease of use but the decorative maps are more of a side project.

The Wright CTA map was first released last month by Roberts' friend and fellow map enthusiast Mark Ovenden, author of the book Transit Maps of the World.

"I've been getting a huge response," Roberts said.

The maps cost about £36 plus shipping and are available through Roberts' website at

Roberts also has designed an attractive take on the CTA map that emphasizes the downtown loop.


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