Enjoy New York's subway illustrations as if you're on the train

There are two things any occasional visitor to New York will know about its subway system. One is that each station is adorned with beautiful and unique signage - so much so, you kind of want to visit every one to take them all in.

The second? Don't scoff, NY natives, but however well designed the subway maps and helpful the staff are, it can be a little confusing to know what's going on the first couple of times you use it.

Thankfully, Adam Chang (opens in new tab)'s personal project helps out on both counts. The NY Train Project (opens in new tab) is a website that recreates an illustrated version of all 118 subway station signs in Manhattan. That means you can view the signs as if you're riding the train line in New York, without having to actually do it.

Handy tips

The website also dishes out handy tips on each individual station, from practical information ("There are no free transfers between directions at this station") to tips only a locals would know ("This station is bi-level, the top has hole in the floor that allows a view of the lower level."). Unlike many official transport websites, it's easy to navigative, with some nice transitions, and just generally a delight to explore.

"I have been on the subway thousands of times but only until recently did I take the time to really look at my surroundings," says its creator, Adam Chang. "One day while waiting for the 6 train at the Bleecker stop, I began to notice the intricate details of the carefully placed tiles in the station sign.

"I hope this gallery can serve as not only a tribute to the history of the subway stations but also as a quick guide to getting around New York via the MTA."

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Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity (opens in new tab), published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, T3.com and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects.