Beijing Mind Map for Archie's Press

In collaboration with Archie’s Press
letterpress print; 8 x 8 inch / 20 x 20 cm
Spring 2016, New York, NY


April 17th, 2018, Winston-Salem, NC
from: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
to: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
date: Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 10:33 AM
subject: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Archie:
I wanna have a quick check if you still wanna collaborate the Mind Maps of Shanghai and Beijing. Please feel free to let me know.
Many thanks,
Li


April 17th, 2018, Winston-Salem, NC
from: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
to: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
date: Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 10:44 AM
subject: RE: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Li!
I’m so sorry for my delay. I got so busy and I lost track of making new maps!
But now is a good time for me to start on some new things. So yes! Let’s try one of them first and see how it goes.
Which one do you feel the most confident doing? It is ALL about knowing a lot about the geography of the place. 
I’m attaching the style guide and a little “intro deck” for you to flip through.
Let me know if you have any questions!
Thanks again!
Archie

2 Attachments


April 18th, 2018, Winston-Salem, NC
from: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
to: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
date: Tue, Apr 18, 2018 at 11:36 AM
subject: Re: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Archie:
No worries at all! Everything sounds perfect! I think we can start with the Beijing map since I'm originally from Beijing. Is it OK for you?
All the best,
Li


April 18th, 2018, Winston-Salem, NC
from: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
to: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
date: Tue, Apr 18, 2018 at 5:12 PM
subject: RE: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Li,
Great, Beijing it is.
Here’s what I’m thinking, but you can tell me I’m wrong since I don’t know anything about Beijing:
There is absolutely no way we can map the whole thing for a couple of reasons: I’ve learned that trying to describe the entire city is pointless since very few people have knowledge of the whole city. It makes more sense to choose the more central areas.
Especially for Beijing, there is a ring road system that will make a beautiful composition. See attached .ai file. Do you think concentric circles would work? Most maps have them more like squares. Which of these do you think feels most like “Beijing”? I like #2, but I don’t know anything. Should we zoom out? Zoom in? Only you can answer these questions!
Think about how people use the city: do most people take the train? Do the stations define the neighborhoods? If that’s true, should we use the subways as the skeleton?
Like I said, please tell me if this doesn’t feel like Beijing at all, and please propose what you think would work.
I like to start the process by deciding this composition before we put any content in, mostly because it’s very difficult to work backwards.
Thanks Li!
Archie



Based on Archie’s impression of the city, the ring road system (2nd Ring Rd., 3rd Ring Rd., and 4th Ring Rd. and S50/5th Ring Rd.) seems to be appealing and he designed these four grid systems to get us started.

April 19th, 2018, Raleigh, NC
from: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
to: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
date: Tue, Apr 19, 2018 at 10:42 AM
subject: Re: About the Collaboration Project

Hey Archie:
So, I'm on my way back to NYC from North Carolina now. I'll be actively working on the map and the contract tomorrow and let you know if I figure something out.
Yes! Beijing is famous for its ring road system and I think cutting off from the 5th Ring Road is very smart. There's literally nothing much outside 5th. I have already gone through the Illustrator file you sent me. The concentric circles are not very Beijing-ish. Beijing is famous for being square-ish and you can see from the map that at the hub of the city there is the Forbidden City. It's a rectangle and the development of the city comes from it. I'll make a little change based on the 2nd or 3rd page—the round-cornered rectangles and get back to you asap.
All the best,
Li


I did some more research on the urban design of my hometown:
Ring Road System Skeleton:

For the proportion and the naming system, one of the most representative characters of Beijing’s is that the bottom part, the Outer City within the 2nd Ring Road is wider than its top part, the Inner City. This feature differentiates Beijing from any other cities using the ring road system all over the globe. Therefore, I prefer to keep it in the design. The 5th Ring Rd. is an expressway. Actually, its official English naming is “S50” but Beijing residents somehow still call it the “5th Ring Road.” Therefore, to make the design consistent typographically, epidemically, and systematically, I decided to double name it “S50/5th Ring Rd.”
Additional Radial Expressways:

As ring road system being the primary layer, a secondary layer is composed of linear expressways, which forms a radial web. The naming is compounded by its connection (The letters are the initials of the phonetic spelling mimicking the Chinese pronunciation. “G” represents intercountry and “S” stands for interprovince.) and numbering. In Chinese, they are both double named. Below is the result of what I have researched and it’s gonna be remaining as an open question how to name them on the map temporarily.
Ring Road System—2nd Ring Rd., 3rd Ring Rd., 4th Ring Rd., and S50/5th Ring Rd.
Chang’an Ave.—an imaginative conclusive name of W. and E. Chang’an Ave. within the range of 2nd Ring Rd.
G102—China National Highway 102
             806 mi/1,297 km; starts from in between E. 3rd and 4th Ring Rds
             connects Beijing to Harbin
G103—China National Highway 103
            90 mi/150 km (the shortest China National Highway); starts from in between E. 2nd and 3rd Ring Rds
            connects Beijing to Tanggu
G104—China National Highway 104
            1,490 mi/2,390 km; starts from South S. 2nd Ring Rd, also names as Nanyuan Rd.
            connects Beijing to Fuzhou
G105—China National Highway 105
            1,688 mi/2,717 km; starts from S. 5th Ring Rd.
            connects Beijing to Zhuhai
G107—China National Highway 107
            1,676 mi/2,698 km; starts from SW. 2nd Ring Rd.
            connects Beijing to Shenzhen
G108—China National Highway 108
            2.085 mi/3,356 km; starts from W. 2nd Ring Rd.
            connects Beijing to Kunming, whose Beijing section is known as Jingyuan Rd. 
G109—China National Highway 109
            2,424 mi/3,901 km; starts from W. 2nd Ring Rd.
            connects Beijing to Lhasa
G110—China National Highway 110
            700 mi/1,100 km; starts from N. 4th Ring Rd.
            connects Beijing to Yinchuan
G111—China National Highway 111 (Partially S12—Airport Expressway)
           1,319 mi/2,123 km; starts from NE. 2nd Ring Rd.
           connects Beijing to Heilongjiang
G1—Beijing–Harbin Expressway (Partially Jingshen Expressway)
        777 mi/1,251 km; starts from E. 4th Ring Rd.
G2—Beijing–Shanghai Expressway/Jinghu Expressway (Partially S40—Jingjintang Expressway)
         784.16 mi/1261.99 km; starts from SE. 3rd Ring Rd.
G4—Beijing–Hong Kong–Macau Expressway/Jinggang’ao Expressway (Partially Jingshi Expressway)
        1,412.16 mi/2,272.65 km; starts from W. 3rd Ring Rd.
G6—Beijing–Lhasa Expressway (Former Badaling Expressway)
        43.48 mi/69.98 km; starts north of Madian Overpass on N. 3rd Ring Rd.
        Its former name “Badaling Expressway” was originated from the Badaling stretch of the Great Wall.
G7—Beijing–Ürümqi Expressway
        1,580 mi/2,540 km; starts from in between N. 4th and 5th Ring Rds
G45—Daqing–Guangzhou Expressway (Partially Jingcheng and Jingkai Expressway)
           2,210 mi/3550 km; temporarily ends at NE. 3rd Ring Rd. and restart from SW. 3rd Ring Rd.
S12—Airport Expressway (Part of G111—China National Highway 111)
          Under 12 mi/20 km; Links Sanyuanqiao on the NE. 3rd Ring Road to Beijing Airport
S40—Jingjintang Expressway (Part of G2—Beijing-Shanghai Expressway)
           143 km; starts from SE. 2nd Ring Rd.

May 2nd, 2018, New York, NY
from: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
to: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
date: Wed, May 2, 2018 at 11:14 PM
subject: Re: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Archie:
Sorry about this delay. There was something major happened in my life and I finally got myself together and I'm able to work on the Beijing map full-time. I finished some rearrangements on my side based on the grid systems. Here I attached the file to this email. There are #5 and #6. I personally prefer #5 because Beijing is famous for it rectangular urban design and perpendicular grid system. But I think #6 is also very interesting and appealing and there might be potential for utilizing unique circular design to represent the city.  
I also have a question about the naming of the roads that I wanna discuss with you: So the expressways are double named, which means, in Chinese, we usually say one name and in English, we say another and both of them have no linguistic connection at all. For instance: My home in Beijing is right by "G6," which is the official naming of the expressway in English. But in Chinese, we say "Beijing–Lhasa Expressway." I tried naming both on the map but I think it's over text-heavy. I guess it could be determined by the targeted customer? So “G6” might be better? What do you think? P.S. The only one I remained double named on the file is "S50/5th Ring Rd." I did some research and its official name is "S50" but it is also a ring road following the same ring road system and all Beijingers are using it. So I think double naming this one is reasonable.
For future steps, we can add some more 1pt roads in the grid system for sure, which are the most famous and important ones. Since the grid is literally super complicated, I think applying selected ones would work better. I also have a thought of including some of the subways routes. That would be creating a strong impression of Beijing. Right now, there are 22 subways lines in use. But for a very long time in Beijing's transporting system development, there were only Beijing Subway Line 1, 2, 5, 10, 13, and Airport Express. There are several stages of its developing, but I personally don't think including all the up-to-date trains would be the best way. What do you think and what do you think would be some potential main subcategories of the city elements we could add to the grid we are trying to create before adding more detailed information such as neighborhoods, parks/gardens, landmarks, etc.?
Please feel free to let me know anything and I am looking forward to moving forward. Lol
All the best,
Li


After the aformentioned research, following Archie’s design regulation on the maps to make them geomatric and mimimal, here I straightened and angled up the ring road system and additional radial expressways and designed the folowing two approaches: 

May 3rd, 2018, New York, NY
from: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
to: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
date: Thu, May 3, 2018 at 10:45 AM
subject: RE: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Li!
Thanks so much for the quick response. No problem about the delay and I am glad you are recovering.
I think #6 looks great! It’s a perfect skeleton and you can start adding things to it.
Road names: I think there is plenty of space to write the longer Chinese name as well as the English name. I like the English on the outside, and then you can add the Chinese name between 4th and 5th ring roads. If the Chinese name is gets blocked by the neighborhood name, that might be a problem. What do you think?
I think you can keep the stroke consistent throughout the entire road (G109, G102, G7 etc). I don’t like how it looks when it switches from 2pt to 1pt.
Also, is it very important that the 2nd ring road has those corners intruding on the shape on the south end? If not, please remove them.
OK! Let me know if you have any questions.  


May 3rd, 2018, New York, NY
from: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
to: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
date: Thu, May 3, 2018 at 11:45 AM
subject: Re: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Archie:
I can make a quick easy try of #5-1 and #6-2 to put longer Chinese names onto the maps and we'll see what's gonna be happening. If we put more circles on the map, I do think that some of them might take the risk of being blocked, then we can just use the original #5 and #6 since the English naming is official and more universal and it'll make the map cleaner.
The reason why I made some of the expressways in two stroke weights is because expressways start from specific points. A lot of them are not expressways anymore when they enter the hub of the city. Do you think adding more 1pt grid system will help ease the change since some of them will merge into the grid? Or do you still prefer to make them consistent all in 2pt? I can send you the file adding more grid in 1pt later today and you can see how it turns out and we can make our decision on this together?
And for the 2nd ring road, yes, it's just its shape having those corners intruding on the south end? I did try a perfect round-cornered rectangle and circle at the very beginning to make the entire map geometrically clean and as minimal as possible, (I promise that I am keeping this in my mind. Lol) but it makes the impression of the city of Beijing weaker. We Beijingers always made this joke of using the Chinese character "凸" to represent Beijing's 2nd Ring Road and the impression of the city. So I personally prefer to keep the shape instead of making it simpler. What's your opinion about this?
Quick question: What is the regulation of railways? I didn't find it in the regulation file you sent to me earlier. I saw that your former design of Chicago and Paris have the railway system in it. Is it double stroked path overlapping on top of each other that one is black and the other one white dash? What are the thickness? Please let me know, and then I can add it.
Best,
Li


May 3rd, 2018, New York, NY
from: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
to: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
date: Thu, May 3, 2018 at 12:10 PM
subject: RE: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Li!
Those are all great thoughts.
I actually don’t have super strong feelings about the stroke weight, you can leave that for now.
I think the 2nd Ring Road makes sense. Great thinking.
Those “railroads” are usually highways. To make them: Go to your appearance panel and select the stroke you want to use. Click “new stroke” on the bottom. Now you have two black strokes. Make the stroke on top white (1pt) with dashed lines (3p. dash with 3 pt. gap). Make the stroke on the bottom 3pt. If that doesn’t make sense, let me know.
Thank you for the quick response!!


After this round of “tennis playing,” I started to do some research on the Beijing subway system. I think it could be a great second layer being a “sub-grid system” and it could reinforce the impression of the city.


Beijing Subway is a rapid transit rail network that serves the urban and suburban districts of Beijing municipality. For now, there are 22 subway trains with 370 stops and a total length 377.9 m/608.2 km ranking second all over the globe (1. Shanghai; 2. Beijing; 3. London; 4. New York City; 5. Seoul). But if they are all being shown on the map design, it’s definitely gonna be overwhelming. So I made the decision to only include selected subway trains.
Selested Beijing subways trains:

Line 1—a straight east-west line underneath Chang'an Avenue
              other named “Fuba Train” and former “Horizontal Train;” 23 stops; 18.8 mi/30.3 km
Line 2—the inner rectangular loop line traces the Ming-era inner city wall
              other named “Loop Train;” 18 stops; 14.35/23.1 km
Line 5—a straight north-south line to the east of the city center
               23 stops; 17.15 mi/27.6 km
Line 10—the outer loop line runs underneath or beyond 3rd Ring Road; traces Beijing's Yuan-era city wall in the north
                45 stops; 35.5 mi/57.1 km
Line 13—across north suburbs of the city
                 16 stops; 25.2 mi/40.5 km
Airport Express—connects the Beijing Capital International Airport
                                  4 stops; 17.5 mi/28.1 km
Batong Train—extends 1 Train eastward to SE. suburbs
                             13 stops; 11.7 mi/18.9 km
These 7 selected trains also the earliest 7 trains constructed in the city among all:
June 28th, 2000—Line 1 and Line 2;
January 28, 2003—Line 1Line 2n, and Line 13;
December 27th, 2003—Line 1, Line 2, Line 13, and Batong Line;
October 7th, 2007—Line 1, Line 2, Line 13, Batong Line, and Line 5;
July 19th, 2008—Line 1, Line 2, Line 13, Batong LineLine 5, Line 10, and Airport Express.

May 3rd, 2018, New York, NY
from: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
to: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
date: Thu, May 3, 2018 at 6:44 AM
subject: Re: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Archie:
Please find the attached file about what I have finished so far this afternoon. So I added the main and earliest subway system, No. 1, 2, 5, 10, 13 trains and the Airport Express train. I put two airports there but the third one designed by Zaha Hadid is too far from the map area that we are working on. So I didn't include it. I added the Palace Museum at the center of the map, which was the most ancient city complex at the hub of the city, where the emperors used to live and rule China in it. And the other circles are just parks.
As for the concern about the double naming system, I guess we can just keep them in mind for now. Since there will be more circles added, there might not be enough space for them as well as the naming of the grid system. We'll see what will happen and decide whether name them or not later. Do you think it a good idea for now?
The current challenge that I'm facing is how to represent "Shichahai" on the map. It's to the west of the Palace Museum and it is very historically and meaningfully significant in Beijing. And you can also see that there is a diagonal road on the map just because it compromises to the shape of the water area. But the shape of it is irregular. So what do you think would be the best way to show it? 
I know that you prefer the circular design, but I still think the rectangular one creates a better impression of Beijing. What's your opinion on the shapes? Or I can keep adding more information and we can decide it when it comes to the next stage. And what else is on your mind? Please let me know.
Many thanks,
Li



May 5th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
to: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
date: Sat, May 5, 2018 at 9:52 AM
subject: RE: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Li!
Thanks so much for the quick work.
Let’s stick with #5, that’s you’re favorite, right?
I don’t think we need to blacken the center.
So an important thing moving forward: You don’t need to include too much detail, or let small things affect the aesthetic of the map. The diagonal street is irrelevant here. Straighten it or remove it. I heard a good quote the other day: “All maps are wrong, but they are useful”. Don’t worry about getting every detail right, this is a “big picture” map, not a detailed roadmap.
I think the rest of it looks great. Please stop working on the other designs and just work on number 5. It’s a winner!
We have a great skeleton and now you can start adding neighborhoods. Yay!
Let me know if you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them.
Thanks!
Archie


May 5th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
to: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
date: Sat, May 5, 2018 at 4:34 PM
subject: Re: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Archie:
Yes. I think #5 is better than #6 since the urban design of the city of Beijing is famous for being in squares. I have checked with several of my close friends who are all originally from Beijing and all of us prefer the square design and we agree that it is more Beijing-ish.
I changed the inner area of the 2nd Ring Rd. back to white. But I made the Forbidden City in black. What do you think?
I have attached the latest file after mapping the most important and influential neighborhoods to this email. Please let me know what concerns or questions you have.
Best,
Li





May 7th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
to: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
date: Mon, May 7, 2018 at 5:56 PM
subject: RE: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Li!
Wow you worked so quickly! Thanks so much.
I like the forbidden city in Black.
How do you feel about this? Does it “feel” like Beijing? I might nudge a few things around, but overall I think it’s pretty cool!
I’m going to show it to Instagram soon, hopefully I can get to it tomorrow!
Thanks again,
Archie


May 8th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
to: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
date: Mon, May 7, 2018 at 6:44 PM
subject: Re: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Archie:
I think this feels pretty Beijing and I showed my mom as well, who doesn't understand English at all but she was literally like, this is Beijing, right? So I guess it works. I made some slight changes on this past weekend and let me finally retouch some small things about the neighborhoods and I'll send the .ai file back to you tomorrow if that's gonna OK to give me one more day?
I do have one question, which is also the reason why I need one more day. I'm still debating on some of the translation of the names. You know that Chinese is so different from Latin languages, so there might be some difficulties on the translating part. Unlike French or German, they're relatively less problematic linguistically.
For the famous sites, they have official translations, such as "the Forbidden City." It is translated based on its meaning instead of simply using the phonetical spelling to mimic its pronunciation. But several neighborhoods don't have official translations 'cause they are more casual and residential, not that significant and influential. Usually, under this sort of circumstance, we just using its phonetical spelling instead. So here comes a potential problem: some specific neighborhoods' names have auspicious meanings. If we just use their phonetical spellings, the meaning will be loosing. For instance, there is one neighborhood named "紫竹院" in between W. 3rd and 4th Ring Roads. Right now, I'm using phonetical translation, which is "Zizhuyuan" on the map now but actually, if it's translated based on the meaning, it will go to "Purple Bamboo Park" instead. It shows the language puzzles that our ancestors play—purple is a very powerful and auspicious color in our tradition, which also appears in the authentic name of the Forbidden City in Chinese; bamboo is a metaphor that represents being strong, healthy, and safe and sound. Personally, I prefer to use "Purple Bamboo Park." So please allow me to have one more day to discuss it with my friends. We are all well-educated and originally from Beijing, speak Chinese and English fluently. So after having some "critique," I believe the names will come out in a better sense.
Please let me know what you think.
Many thanks,
Li


May 7th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
to: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
date: Mon, May 7, 2018 at 6:57 PM
subject: RE: About the Collaboration Project

Hmmm that’s very interesting.
I will ask some of my studiomates tomorrow what they think. Some are Chinese so they will probably have an opinion.


So the “big picture” has pretty much settled but there are still details to be perfected for sure.
Fortification of Beijing City:


The fortifications were built between the early 15th century to 1553 in Ming dynasty. The Inner city wall was 15 mi/24 km long and 49 ft/15 m high, with a thickness of 66 ft/20 m at ground level and 39 ft/12 m at the top, and had nine gates. The Outer city walls is 19–23 ft/6–7 m high, 33–36 ft/10–11 m wide at the top and 36–49 ft/11–15 m wide at the base. The western sections were the narrowest, averaging only 14.8 ft/4.5 m at the top and 25.6 ft/7.8 m at the base and had seven gates.The gates used to be appearing on the Inner and Outer city’s walls are a very cool feature. Even though they are not there any longer, but those areas are still named after them. In order to differentiate them from subways transfer stops, I made the gates in white circles with black stroke and normal stops in black circles with white stroke.
Minor Improvements:
The gates could be a very cool feature on the map after some new research. Even though they didn’t exist anymore, those areas are still named after them. In order to differentiate them from subways transfer stops, I made the gates in white circles with black stroke and normal stops in black circles with white stroke. I also made some changes to the translating of the names.

May 8th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
to: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
date: Tue, May 8, 2018 at 11:33 AM
subject: Re: About the Collaboration Project

Hey Archie:
I just finished revising it on my side. So I was having this conversation debating which translation system to use with 3 other friends last night till 2 and we continued discussed a little this morning. And we decided to apply both but case by case.
During the time the emporers used to rule China, the city of Beijing was pretty much sticking to 2nd Ring Rd—Inner City, Outer City, Imperial City, and Forbidden City. During then, there were very strict urban design rules based on Fengshui. So we decided to use the translating based on their meanings instead of pronunciation for the sites within 2nd Ring Rd. You can see that there are Temple of Heaven, Earth, Sun, and Moon. As for fortifications, we decided to leave them using pronunciations instead of meanings. First, this is more of a common way. Also, they're too hard to translate and they don't make that much sense in English but lose its Chinese auspices. For instance: there is Andingmen on N. 2nd Ring Road, whose “men” part means “gate” and the rest—"Anding" is a real word meaning stable, settled, peaceful, and safe and sound. But... Stable Gate?! I'm like... Nah... That is super awkward... For the areas outside 2nd Ring Rd, they are relatively new and the rules are a little less strict. And we agreed on using pronunciations. So I changed "Beixin Bridge" back to "Beixinqiao" etc.
I attached the latest file to this email and hope it finds you well.
Many thanks,
Li





May 8th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
to: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
date: Tue, May 8, 2018 at 11:48 AM
subject: RE: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Li!
That looks amazing.
Thanks so much for taking such careful time and attention to making this the best possible map.
Is it OK if I share that diary with my office friends? We have a Slack channel and I was going to post it for about 20 people.
I have some questions:
What are all the little white dots at the intersection of the highways? Are they necessary?
Is there really nothing in the SW and SE of the city? Between 4th and 5th Ring Roads?
The third ring road is confusing me a little bit. Which one is it? The dotted line or the solid line? Since there is not much between the dotted and solid lines, I think we can simplify it to one line. I know that probably isn’t totally accurate, but remember the point of this map is not to keep track of so many little details like that. It’s a “big picture” map, not a details map. The biggest picture is make sure the ring system makes sense quickly and intuitively, but right now I think it’s a little lost.
There are also some details on here that I think are unnecessary. For instance, the G103/G108 interchange is totally unnecessary. That can just be one line.
Every road needs a name. I think we can remove about 5 roads on this. It’s too many right now. I’m getting what is called the “dazzle effect”, there is so much information that I give up trying to read it.
Are the rivers very important? I think there are too many and they are a little distracting. I turned off that layer and I think it feels better, but if they are necessary we can get rid of them.
Let me know if you have time to do a little tweaking, otherwise I can do it myself before I share it around, but hopefully I don’t ruin the map!
Thanks Li!
Archie


It is true that so far, the map looks overwhelming. After this new round of “tennis playing,” I removed subway 10 train, rivers, and connected 1 train and Batong train together. Still debating on the fortification gates and waiting for naming the roads after Archie’s “minus game.”

May 8th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
to: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
date: Tue, May 8, 2018 at 12:41 AM
subject: Re: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Archie:
No problem! Go for it!
The 3rd Ring Rd. is the solid line and the dashed line is Beijing Subway 10 train. I removed the dotted line. I simplified the "G103/G108" interchange and I deleted the river layer.
The white dots are the gates of the fortification of the city. They are very famous and there are a lot of neighborhoods and roads naming after them. I think they mark the city's history and they also made Beijing so special and memorable. Most of them are torn down for decades but there are still subway train stops at the same spots and sharing the same names. But this is a debatable element whether to keep them or delete.
And yes. It's true. There's literally nothing much southern than S. 2nd Ring Rd. There is still something outside N. S50/5th Ring Rd. but the south is a whole different story. The urban design is pretty uneven.
So for the roads, I do agree that I put too many of them on the map. You can remove the ones you think unnecessary and then I'll put names next to the ones we still have? It's true that every road has name(s). But It's a little different from the system we have here in NYC. Usually, one continuous road using only one name. But in Beijing, even though they are still the same road, but it has different names in every single block and some of the spelling can be very long after translation. So let's say, you can do some minus first and then I'll try to name the rest and then let's discuss it later?
I just attached a new file to this email. And feel free to delete the roads you think unnecessary. There won't be any chance you could ruin it.
Best,
Li




May 8th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
to: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
date: Tue, May 8, 2018 at 3:39 PM
subject: RE: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Li,
Here are my edits.
I think we are losing the shape of the 2nd Ring Rd. that you mentioned before. I can’t see that special shape that resembles the character because there is so much going on around/inside of the 2nd Ring Rd., especially with the little circles at the intersections. Because none of those are actually labelled, I think we should get rid of them. I understand that they are culturally very significant, but I’m just not sure if they are translating here without labels. Do they really help orient you in the city? So, pick that 2nd Ring Rd. shape or pick the gates.
I removed the grid in the center city because it was confusing, and with nothing labelled, those roads aren’t helpful. This is a pretty normal tactic for me in “downtown” situations. 
Can we get rid of the Yongding River? It looks like an afterthought.
Here are things that apply to this map, and should be noted for future maps:
The roads: Everything needs at least one name. It’s pointless to have a road without a name on here. Our real estate is too valuable!
I like when the road name is on top op of the road so it acts as like an “underline”.
I don’t love when too many circles are squeezed into one space, it feels claustrophobic. Give them a little breathing space.
We’re very close! I think the gates are throwing me off.
This is a good map. It presents an illusion of structure with the ring roads, but when you get deeper into looking at it, the system breaks down, and there are many exceptions to the rules. Maybe like China? I don’t know. I’m sure there’s a nice poetic comparison we can come up with.
Let me know what you think. I still haven’t posted it but will if you say this looks OK.
Archie





Based on Archie’s critique, I made every circle of the neighborhoods smaller and removed some redundancy. Since there’s no grid system inside 2nd Ring Rd., I rearranged the neighborhoods a little and tried ellipse to represent “Shichahai.”

May 9th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
to: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
date: Wed, May 9, 2018 at 11:35 AM
subject: Re: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Archie:
I made some more retouching as we discussed.
For the neighborhoods, I rearranged every single one of them to make more breathing spaces. I think it's less intense now comparing with the former approach.
For the grid system, I removed several streets and I labeled every one of them. Hope I didn't miss one. I agree that removing the ones within 2nd Ring Rd. makes the map so much cleaner. You can see that I changed the neighborhoods in it a little bit. But the only one I prefer to keep is the vertical one right in the middle. It is very important in the design and the history since it is the "axis road" and the urban design within 2nd Ring Rd. is symmetrical, almost symmetric. (There's no official name of axis road in the urban design. The road in each block has separate names. But Beijing residents still call it "axis road" epidemically since it is literally the axis of the city.) For instance, you can see there's "Xidan" on the left and "Dongdan" on the right. "Xi" means west and “Dong” means East and they are symmetrically sitting on the opposite sides. So personally, I think keeping the axis road as the only one inside @nd Ring Rd.is reasonable. Besides, do you think the grid system is still too much? If so, I can keep removing a few.
There are two artboards in the new file. The only difference is the water area—Shichahai, which is at the top part of 2nd Ring Rd. close to the Forbidden City. One is elliptical and the other one is a circle. Which one do you prefer to move forward? Looking forward to hearing from you.
Many thanks,
Li



May 9th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
to: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
date: Wed, May 9, 2018 at 3:47 PM
subject: RE: About the Collaboration Project

Hey Li!
Awesome, those are great thoughts.
Can you name all the subway lines? That are making a huge statement on this map, but there is not explanation.
I also like to keep the names justified to the left or the right instead of in the middle of the road.
I pulled the G roads inside. I understand they continue out, but we’re really concerned with the area inside Beijing and not outside. I think it looks nicer.
This looks so good!
Thanks so much Li!
Archie




May 9th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
to: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
date: Wed, May 9, 2018 at 11:35 AM
subject: Re: About the Collaboration Project

Hey Archie:
I moved "S50/5th Ring Rd." into the subway trains layer to make it covering the diagonal ends of the brushstrokes of the trains to make it look cleaner on the edge.
I have labeled all the subways trains: Line 1, 2, 5, 13, Batong Line, and Airport Express. I deleted "G111" and moved "S12" to its former place. After labeling Airport Express, there are 3 names on the same road. Technically speaking, S12 stands for airport expressway and it is part of G111. So I think with the labeling of the subway, keeping S12 and deleting G111 makes more sense and they are paralleling each other.
I pushed all the roads' names to the corners. The only one remaining center aligned is "Chang'an Ave" at the center of the map right below "the Forbidden City." It is at the center of the city, across the axis road, and symmetric. So do you mind keeping it as the only exception there?
All the best,
Li




May 11th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
to: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
date: Fri, May 11, 2018 at 11:45 AM
subject: RE: About the Collaboration Project

Could you also write Beijing in Chinese characters? I want to see how it looks as a subheading.
Thanks!
Archie


May 9th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
to: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
date: Wed, May 9, 2018 at 11:35 AM
subject: Re: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Archie:
I added the Chinese characters right next to "Beijing." I attached the file to this email.
Best,
Li




May 11th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
to: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
date: Fri, May 11, 2018 at 2:59 PM
subject: RE: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Li!
I like it, but I think it is too divergent from the other maps and there aren’t any other characters on here, so let’s just use Beijing.
Does this look finished? I think the cleaning up you did looks perfect. Seems ready to print!!
What do you think? Anything else?
Yay!
Archie


May 11th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
to: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
date: Fri, May 11, 2018 at 3:40 PM

Hi Archie:
Yes! I think it's super close to being finally printed out. But before that, let me do some final check-ups with every word to kill any possible typos and get the file back to you by the end of this weekend.
Also, I got a question. Do we need to manually kern and adjust a bit on some of the leadings? For instance, the leading of "Yuanmingyuan Park" at top left corner seems a little uneven because of the ascenders and descenders. I can make it more optically symmetrical. Do you think it necessary? Or you prefer to leave it that way? Please let me know.
Best,
Li


May 11th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
to: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
date: Fri, May 11, 2018 at 3:46 PM
subject: RE: About the Collaboration Project

Hi Li!
Yes do a little bit of manual kerning! It’s so annoying but so worth it!!
Thank you for all the hard work! I’m so excited to get started on Shanghai!
And: Do you want to get coffee or something next week? I work in the Lower East Side. Where are you?
Cheers,
Archie


May 13th, 2018, New York, NY
from: Archie <archie@archiespress.com>
to: Li Han <thelostshrimpball@gmail.com>
date: Sun, May 13, 2018 at 11:45 AM

Hey Archie:
Please find the attached file. I manually kerned and adjusted several leadings. And I also have gone through all of the spellings. I think it's ready for print now. Feel free to let me know if you find anything which needs to be revised further.
Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyy,
Li



Here’s a little press of Archies’ Press’s newsletter on this project. And the “Beijing Mind Map” is available at Archie’s Press Beijing Map in letterpress in 8 x 8 inches/20 x 20 cm. Thanks for reading and I hope this project could be inspiring on minimalism, mapping, and envisioning information related projects.



Special Thanks to

陈 沨桦 (Fenghua Chen)
李 祎珵 [Yicheng (Jill) Li]
吴 晓涵 (Xiaohan Wu)




#collaborative project
#envisioning information
#mind map design
#graphic design
#letterpress
© 2018 Li Han.