Preston City Centre Guide Development

This year I have been working on a A3 map & guide for Preston City Centre with
Pete Thompson and Preston City Council. It is to be available for free around the
city to be used as a guide on how to get around and see what Preston has to offer.
This post is a guide through the development of the project. The full project can
be seen here.

Research & Reference
Preston Map 1
Preston City Centre Map – Previous (A5)

Preston map 2 - Guild Wheel
Guild Wheel Map – Bicycle route of Preston (A2 approx)

Preston map 3 - illustrated
Illustrated Preston City Centre Map (A3 approx)

Bristol Map
Bristol City Map (A3) [link]

Newcastle Map
Newcastle Map (426mm x 426mm) [link]

NYC Wayfinding 1NYC Wayfinding 2NYC Wayfinding 3 - Paper map
Pentagram NYC Wayfinding [link]

Initial map work animation

Development of the first version of the map where the initial groundwork was done for
the transport system and natural environments. While being as accurate as possible,
it was important for this map to be clear and simple so some roads have been slightly
simplified and not all roads have been included as they are not necessary for this map.

This video shows the development of the map from start to finish.

Project Extension

Based from the finished map that was produced, Preston Council along with fwdesign have produced a detailed version for a way-finding system. It essentially zooms into the initial design, adding extra detail which is necessary for way-finding signage. The system will be implemented into the redevelopment of Preston City Centre from August 2014. Picture to come…

To see the full project, please click here.

Project: Preston City Centre Guide



I have worked with maps for a number of years now before the opportunity arose for the creation of a new map for Preston city centre. I am really looking forward to all the hard work finally in print and being used.
– Pete Thompson 


Preston Guid City MapPreston Guid City Back

To see Development and Project Extension, Click Here

Download PDF

Client: Preston City Council
Date Published: 18/02/14
Design: Ric BixterPete Thompson

Design of 2013

In 2013 there was plenty of amazing design like David Pearson – Nineteen Eighty-Four Cover and SagmeisterWalsh – Function Engineering. It is impossible to just pick one definite favourite but, for the purpose of a blog post, I decided to pick The Independent re-design as my Design of 2013.

independent_nov6_0 copy
The bold redesign is a clean and stylistic look at newspaper design. With the new logotype sprawled down the side creates an instant impact, especially compared to the previous (and by no means worst) design.
indy_eagle_0 copyINDY_Typefaces_850


The changes themselves are less a redesign and more a complete overhaul, thanks in part to the new set of typefaces designed by Henrik Kubel of A2/SW/HK and A2-Type, that are worked through the newspaper. Designing from the type up has meant that the way each page works has been rethought, restructured, and, in particular, de-cluttered and simplified.
[Creative Review 07/11/13]


The paper’s new design, its third since 2010, took three months – and Willey worked closely with head of creative Dan Barber and Stephen Petch, art director of the Sunday New Review. According to editor Amol Rajan, the aim was to recreate the ‘classic with a twist’ design of its 1986 launch, and radiate “the feeling of a broadsheet in compact form.”

While The Independent retains its compact format, a fresh editorial strategy informed the redesign. Willey says that stories are now mainly short news-in-briefs or longer features, with less mid-length content. This enabled the team to contrast the story lengths, creating more clean space on each page.

Nowhere is this more prominent than on the front page, where the new masthead placement is intended to allow the lead image and headline room for impact. However, the new layout presents a common editorial design challenge: by positioning the picture story directly above the lead story, there is a danger the two could be perceived as connected, placing increased pressure on the main headline to create the necessary visual hierarchy.
[Computer Arts Issue 222]

And now for a selection of my favourite spreads/shots of the design.Independent_008_850Independent_018_850Independent_045_850Independent_047_850Independent_057_850Independent_058_850Independent_073_850Independent_071_850Independent_082_850Independent_083_850img_4402_0img_4403_0img_4412_0img_4420_0img_4425_0img_4427_0img_4431_0img_4432_0img_4430_0img_4429_0

Designed by Matt Willey and the in-house team at The Independent