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In 1964, the New York City Transit Authority decided it wanted to make the subway easier to navigate. With the Chrystie Street tunnel scheduled to opened in 1967, merging the former BMT and IND networks, a three-color map was about to make even less sense.
Still, the transit authority took D'Adamo's idea and spent the next three years working with consultants and other designers to turn it into what became the official New York subway map in November 1967.
The MTA replaced Vignelli's map in 1979, but even before that, officials started to modify some of his and Noorda's designs. Mark Byrnes is a senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design, history, and photography.
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Yet, years later, riders were still subjected to maps that identified routes by their original operators through a three-color identification system. The final design didn't use D'Adamo's station dot concept, choosing instead to place boxes that list the route letters or numbers of that stop at each station. According to Lloyd, the original hand-drawn piece "languished in a cupboard in the office of the [transit authority's] Publicity Office until a clear-out led it to be binned." Last fall, however, D'Adamo found an old color photograph of the design sitting in the basement of his house.
As Peter Shaw chronicled for the AIGA in 2008, Vignelli and Noorda's black-lettering-on-white signs were soon inverted for legibility purposes.
What this meant in practice was that it was easier to discern which defunct company once operated your subway line than where that line was or wasn't taking you.

The MTA then went back to Vignelli for a map redesign that followed the principles behind the manual and used station dots like D'Adamo did. His design separated local from express routes and assigned separate colors to each of them.
So to use as little space as possible, D'Adamo employed colored squares along shared lines.

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