15 Dec, 2016

Going Underground – Further Inspirations

15 Dec, 2016

As a northern lad London always had a pull and its influence has been considerable in cultural and creative inspiration. Needless to say that it was always good to head back home after my frequent visits always armed with something new to bring to the game.

Its when you don’t notice that good design is at its most successful it just does its job and does not make you work had to get it. This is something I observed with those trips to London, I lifted my head from the downward gaze that typifies passengers on the underground and I began to observe the notices, the maps, graphics and signage and how it all just worked together and its consistency wherever you were in London.

One of the first commercial fonts I bought when I set up business was the very font used on the underground “Johnston”. Edward Johnston went so much further than just the alphabet he built a whole signage system with a unified system of signage typography.

This led to my second underground inspiration Harry (Henry) Becks seminal underground map. Beck was a draftsman and this map shows us that sometimes it’s beneficial to come at problems from different angles, a great lesson and as relevant today as always.

To get your fill of all things underground, the London Transport Museum is a great day out.

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