City guide

View modern M3 metro signage imagined by a young Magyar designer

Photo : Zsófia Mihály
View modern M3 metro signage imagined by a young Magyar designer

Budapest’s most run-down underground line is set for renovation this year, although the actual construction schedule remains undetermined for now – but meanwhile, Hungarian design student Zsófia Mihály dreamed up images to redefine every stop along this vital north-south public-transport artery. In one of her recent works, Zsófia presents a series of drawings that give a timelessly appealing visual identity to the monumental structures found all along the M3 metro line.

This year, plans are scheduled to move forward with the comprehensive renovation of the M3 metro line, and in anticipation of this overdue public-transport modernization project, MOME student Zsófia Mihály worked together with three other schoolmates (Vanda Bredács, Eliza Mikus, and Strauß Maxi) at a two-week “M3 redesign” university workshop. The result was an intriguingly simple series of blueprint-style drawings depicting characteristic buildings all along the M3 line. Her aim was to make the station signs friendlier and more informative, and by the time the workshop was over, Zsófi was so fascinated by the endeavor that she continued to draw icons for each station of the metro line. She then realized that from a touristic viewpoint, different buildings might be more relevant to a few specific stations, but she chose to present diverse architectural examples that struck her over the years of traveling this line, so personal attachment was sometimes an influenced in which building would represent a given station.

Photo: Zsófia Mihály
The first step in her designing process was to assess the metro’s condition – Zsófi also created a brief visual inventory for this, as well. “It’s a bit smelly and a bit smoky, but I have been traveling on this line almost every day for the past 10 years, so I could not distance myself emotionally,” Zsófi says.
The redesign became a huge success; many people indicated that they would love to see these graphics on the walls of the M3 underpasses, so Zsófi plans to contact BKK and offer her imagery for their consideration in the renovation project. There is also talk of these drawings being printed on shirts and textile bags – given how much these images remind us of our adventures around Budapest, we certainly hope that these plans become reality!