"...[Ovenden's]... brought out this fabulous book, it really is. It's very in-depth if you like trains, it's lovely actually, it really is a beautiful book. Its worth buying just for my quote on the back cover"
-- Steve Allen Show, LBC 97.3 FM, Sunday 16 November 2008
From the Author
"The maps and architecture of the London Underground, and to a lesser extent, the Moscow Metro or the New York Subway, are relatively well-known to graphic designers, but though there are many books on the Paris Metro I was surprised to find no single work dedicated to the story of its graphic evolution.
So despite a dreadfully poor level of French, I moved to Paris to begin research on the city's well known and much loved urban icon.
From the bits and pieces that existed elsewhere, mainly in French of course, plus hours of research in archives and private collections, I accumulated a mountain of fascinating material.
The results included so many different maps that I concluded Paris has had a more varied cartographic representation than any other urban transit system. With about a dozen different logos and with at least six attempts at revamping the signage, it has quite possibly also had the most varied graphic design history of an urban rail system too!
So, inspired by the colour scheme and typography of the RATP's current graphic standards, I have attempted to assemble all this in some sort of logical order which will hopefully be as much use to the student of graphic design as to the casual tourist or transport enthusiast.
Though Paris is one of the most photographed cities on earth, I hope that its captivating history, the beautiful and varied maps and the plethora of photographs will inspire those who know the city well as much as the new visitor".