The word Metro is synonymous public transport, particularly underground systems and the letter M has become an instantly recognisable symbol used to identify those systems. A post from CityLab a few months ago highlights 77 different examples of how cities have designed the letter M. The post looks why cities might put so much effort in to design and they’ve even¬†gone and put them into the following categories:

  • Sticking to the Basics
  • Slight Tweaks
  • Lowercase or Rounded Letters
  • Motion
  • Abstract

How many are you able to guess or work out – the answers are in the post after the break. The logos were originally collated here which also includes other non-metro named systems.

77 Metro Logo's

Row 1: Baltimore, Paris, Baku, Genoa, Helsinki, Kryvyi Rih (Ukraine), Los Angeles, Miami, Kharkov (Ukraine), Dneprovsk (Ukraine), Newcastle.

Row 2: Lyon (France), Valencia (Spain), Amsterdam, Barcelona, Almaty (Kazakhstan), Rio de Janeiro, Rotterdam, Rouen (France), St. Louis, Saint Petersburg, Sofia (Bulgaria).

Row 3: Washington, D.C., Yekaterinsburg (Russia), Malaga (Spain), Tblisi (Georgia), Prague, Seville, Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), Toulouse, Wuhan (China), Chiba (Japan), Algiers.

Row 4: Cairo, Bucharest, Brasilia, Athens, Istanbul, Budapest, Rennes (France), Copenhagen, Tokyo, Brussels, Tashkent (Uzbekistan).

Row 5: Novosibirsk (Russia), Monterrey, Mexico City, Medellin, Maracaibo (Venezuela), Manila, Lisbon, Lille, Kiev, Valparaiso (Chile), Recife (Brazil).

Row 6: Perugia (Italy), Xian (China), Ankara (Turkey), Naha (Japan), Kazan (Russia), Brescia (Italy), Samara (Russia), Nanjing, Lausanne (Switzerland), Hangzhou, Marseille.

Row 7: Fortaleza (Brazil), Catania (Italy), Warsaw, Nizhny Novgorod (Russia), Shanghai, Porto, Minsk (Belarus), Daejeon (South Korea), Moscow, Valencia (Venezuela), Liverpool.

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  1. The government should put together an “M” consideration panel and then hold a referendum to determine which “M” to use for the Auckland Metro.

  2. You can’t beat the London Underground logo for recognisability and durability.
    And the former British Rail logo (which absolutely refuses to die) for inter-urban rail:
    I reckon these insignia should be adopted as global standards. They have stood the test of time. They would be just as effective anywhere.

    1. 1. I didn’t put the list together. Look at the links for that info.
      2. Transmetro doesn’t use an M for a logo from what I know so wouldn’t be on here anyway.

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