Mark Ovenden cover

photo credits: CC-BY-SA-4.0

Mark Ovenden

British writer and journalist, specialising in cartography

1963   -  

country of citizenship: United Kingdom
occupation: journalist, author
award received: Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

Mark Ovenden F.R.G.S. (born 20 June 1963) is a broadcaster and author who specialises in the subjects of graphic design, cartography and architecture in public transport, with an emphasis on underground rapid transit. His first book Metro Maps of the World published in 2003 is a guide to the diagrams, plans and maps of underground rapid transit system including images ranging from photos of the systems to rare and historical maps. The book was supported by the UITP, the international association of transport operators, and by the London Transport Museum. A Dutch edition was published in autumn 2006 (titled Metrokaarten van de wereld), and an American edition (entitled Transit Maps of the World) was launched on 30 October 2007 by Penguin Books. Other languages and revisions have followed. Paris Metro Style in map and station design, was published November 2008. Endorsed by the RATP, it traces the cartographic evolution and graphic design of the Paris Metro. A revised American edition with a different title was published October 2009 and a French language edition was made in 2015. Railway Maps of the World was published in May 2011 in the USA, a British edition was produced in September 2011. London Underground by Design was published by Penguin Books in January 2013. A celebration of the Johnston typeface centenary and 90th Anniversary of Gill Sans was published in 2016, and in July 2017 Ovenden fronted a television documentary for BBC Four on the subject of Johnston and Gill. and the skyscraper construction boom in Manchester for BBC Radio 4. Ovenden was previously a journalist, news presenter and radio producer. He was founding editor of Due South Magazine and was half of the independent production company, 'OutSpoken', which made BBC Radio 1's 7-part lesbian and gay series Loud'n'proud in 1993. He also worked for: Kiss 102, as Programme Manager; Kiss 100, newsreader; BBC Radio Five, reporter; BBC Radio 1, producer of the Annie Nightingale show; Planet 24, researcher on GayTimeTV; BBC Two, contributor to Map Man; Ministry of Sound, Head of Radio; LBC, producer; and MTV, music programmer. At Atlantic 252 he was a producer and newsreader and co-presented a review show with Chris Coco. He also spent several years (1990–1993) working for Manchester City Council's Equality Group as a Gay Men's officer, charged with implementing their policy of non-discrimination and giving training sessions to staff countering homophobia, during the period when Section 28 was being enforced. He now works freelance in Manchester and delivers occasional lectures on graphic design and cartography.
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