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Visions of a pioneer Final Year Dissertation

Jonathan Pinhorn Visual Communication Birmingham Institute of Art and Design January 2008

year 3 dissertation B.I.A.D.

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The London Underground was once claimed to be the world’s most progressive public transport system. This was through the hard work that design supremo Frank Pick (1878 – 1941) had created during his 30 year appointment with

London Underground. To what extent would this statement be viable today and how much of Pick’s vision and philosophy are still evident?

This essay aims to look at the London Undergrounds most successful period, 1910 to 1930, and compare and contrast it with today’s current London

Underground System. I am going to begin by analysing Frank Pick and other designers he commissioned during this time. I am then going to move onto modern day London Underground focusing predominantly on signage,

typography and whether the Underground is continuing its collaboration with the arts and culture in London.

Frank Pick (Figure 1), a qualified solicitor, joined North Eastern Railway, in 1902 as a management trainee. Later he worked as the assistant to Sir George Gibb, who was to become appointed the chairman of the Underground Group. Five years later he was promoted to the role of publicity officer with

responsibility for the marketing of the Underground Group. Pick had idea’s that would progress to transform the fields of publicity and advertising. In 1908 he

hired the well established commercial artist, John Hassell to create the first in a

long line of Graphic Posters. Figure 2 is one of the most famous of Hassells work, No need to ask a p’liceman, 1908.

Generally speaking our current corporate branding and identity guidelines

or ideas seem to be being set by Picks work at this time. “Part of the task of

a graphic designer is to establish a style, a ‘look’ and to apply it consistently

throughout the task in hand” (Loxley, 2006). These posters achieved that as

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well as their two additional aims, the first being success in promoting the

Underground. The second was that the vision and style of these graphic posters enabled the Underground Group to prove that it was a leading thinker within

the arts community. This was Pick’s first real achievement in terms of beginning to create a sustained visual identity. This work then led him to realising that posters would be more effective if they were each designed in the same graphic style, and positioned in the same parts of different stations. As

well as introducing a house style to the underground he also restricted other advertisements to specific places to further distinguish them from underground signage.

During the First World War the London Underground created graphic posters

similar to those being produced by the government at the time alongside their

own promotional work. These posters took the role of propaganda, recruitment and health and safety advice on the underground. “Frank Pick commissioned prestigious artists to produce recruitment posters which supported those

published by the government. Designs ranged from the graphic realism of Frank Brangwyn (Figures 3 & 4), through to the more typical depiction of war as an idealised struggle. Before conscription was introduced in 1916, recruitment

posters encouraged men to volunteer, either through romanticised imagery or implications of cowardice.” (London Transport Museum, 2007). To give some

insight into the principled man, he “refused to sanction propaganda directed at the enemy that failed to tell the literal truth.” (Glancey, 2003) Pick could take

satisfaction also from the work that the Underground did in relocating evacuee children from central London.

Not only did the underground publish these posters, but they also printed posters to be sent out to British troops abroad. These were aimed at

improving the morale of the soldiers away from home. “The brief called upon

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artists to ‘awaken thoughts of pleasant homely things’.” (London Transport Museum, 2007). Some of the artists that had their work send abroad

included John Walter West. Figure 5 shows ‘Harvest’, a poster created by West in 1916 .

This work was a great success, but Pick still wasn’t resting on his laurels. He

became unhappy with some of the commercial artists that the printers were

using to produce the posters. He decided to start commissioning emerging and established artists himself. He commissioned artists including Paul Nash, Hans Schleger (Figure 6) and Edward McKnight Kauffer. “Kauffer arrived in England in 1914 after a tour of the continent. He had been impressed by the German

poster artists, particularly Hohlwein, whose mannered use of textured paint appears in Kauffer’s first London Transport poster, for the North Downs.” (Hollis, 1994) Figure 7.

Through the commissioning of these artists Pick was led to absorbing the influences of the cubist movement in the 1930’s and introduced many

Londoners’ to modern art of the time on his underground system. The London Transport Museum notes the 1930’s as being “very influential in the history of

the graphic poster, as it’s repositioning by Frank Pick created advances in innovation within the discipline.” (London Transport Museum, 2007)

“During the 1930s, Underground Group posters became bolder, brighter and more adventurous. Pick’s progressive commissioning policy led to over 40 posters a year. When London Transport was formed in 1933, the new

organisation was considered an important patron of the arts and leader in the field of poster publicity. Poster imagery varied, from traditional naturalistic

scenes to more radical geometric and even abstract interpretations of a subject. As Pick commissioned more and more leading artists, the gap began to close

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between avant-garde art and commercial design. Posters no longer

appropriated modern art for the man on the street; contemporary artists like

Man Ray, Edward Wadsworth and Paul Nash took it directly to them.” (London Transport Museum, 2007) Please refer to Figures 8 and 9.

Pick, in 1915 became a founding member of the Design and Industries

Association and later in 1932 became founding chairman of The Council of Art and Industry. This aided his recognition internationally, as he was asked to

advise on the construction of underground networks abroad. He earned an

honorary badge of merit in 1932 for his work on the Moscow Metro (Figure 10). In 1933 the Underground Group merged to become the London Passenger

Transport Board, which became known more simply as London Transport. Pick now the managing director, proceeded to instil the same high design standards across everything, insisting that everything designed, should be maintained.

All of my research, printed and electronic sources state that Frank Pick resigned from London Transport in 1940, and all of them use the phrase ‘on a matter of

principle’. I have not as yet been able to find out what that principle was. In the same year Pick was appointed Director of the Ministry of Information. He died the following year after the publication of his book Paths to Peace.

Another important aspect to remember when considering the success of the London Underground between 1910 and 1930 was the men that Frank Pick

commissioned to do work for him. One of the most important people Pick came into contact with was Edward Johnston (Figure 11). Pick learned that Johnston was a master Calligrapher. Through the enormous success of his book Writing

and Illumination and Lettering to pick just one thing, Johnston was held in high esteem, internationally for his design work.

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Johnston was a modern craftsman and did not like the idea of his work being

re-done for commercial printing uses. This is because his ideals leant towards the arts and crafts movement. However in June 1913, Johnston went to

London to visit Pick. They agreed that Johnston would design an alphabet for the London Underground. Pick, as you would expect was clear on what he

wanted from the typeface. “The Typeface had ‘to belong unmistakably to the times in which we lived’, must be capable of being read quickly and without

difficulty by passengers on a moving train, and each letter should be ‘ a strong and unmistakeable symbol’.” (Loxley, 2006)

At this time lettering styled from the Trajan’s column in Rome was a

fashionable choice of font, figure 15. Eric Gill, a former student of Johnston,

designed the W. H. Smith’s logo (Figure 14) in this said style and Pick was aware that the underground could not take a similar approach, the main reason being a clash of identity. Johnston however decided that a mono-line sans serif was

going to be the answer to the undergrounds needs. Sans serifs or Grotesques as they can be called were at this time as regarded as ugly, hence the name.

“Johnston turned to the roman proportions of the Trajan column inscription to create his new letters, giving them a fresh, simple elegance.” (Loxley, 2006)

Johnston had delivered with his font (Figure 12) and Pick felt that it was John-

ston who should create what was later to become known as the London Bullseye (Figure 13). This logo embodies the visual identity for the London Underground. Through the years it has been adapted and adjusted to be used throughout all

of the Transport systems in London. It is now a nationally, if not internationally recognised symbol for London Transport, and/or for London itself.

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Pick was now creating a successful visual identity for the London Underground. His need for everything designed to be of the highest standard did not stop within the areas of the London Undergrounds identity. Way finding was to become the next area of his attention. Due to the ever expanding system,

passengers were become more and more confused about where they needed to be and the direction to get there.

The Railways of London Underground maps begin to visually take steps towards what we now know as the Underground map in 1926. This year saw F.H.

Stingemore create a card folder that had removed all of the surface detail of London. The map had also expanded the central areas of the map and compressed the outer areas. This aided the legibility of the design.

Stingemore’s last card folder map was produced in 1932 (Figure 16).

Improvements from the previous version include further expansion to the

central area, repositioning of some of the station names to make sure there was no confusion on which station was which. Finally Stingemore also included the River Thames. This seemed to only add to the confusion, as there was little

difference between the curves of the river and the curves of the railway lines. A draughtsman, Harry Beck (Figure 17) produced a map in 1931 that he thought would enable passengers to navigate efficiently. The design took some elements of Stingemore’s earlier maps. These elements were visually expanding the

central area and not using any detailing of above ground London. However the

one fundamental idea that made Beck’s map different was in the simplification of the route lines. These took forms more similar to a diagram of an electronic

circuit board. All routes were either drawn horizontally, vertically or diagonally. This same style was also applied to the River Thames. The first design was

handed to the Publicity Department of the Underground in 1931 (Figure 18).

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Figure 20

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With the advantage of retrospect, we can see the positives held within the design. It made a highly complicated design problem into a simple visual

solution using straightforward lines, colour coding and an understandable key

made of easy geometric symbols. At the time however this must have been seen as one step too far in terms of losing all of the maps topographical elements, as the map was rejected and it is believed the Publicity Department saw it as too strange and incomprehensible to the travelling public. A year later after the first rejection Beck had improved on his designs and took it back for a second chance (Figure 19).

This time Beck colleague’s approved the design and introduced the map on a

trial period. It proved such a great success that it quickly became the standard map for the London Underground. The Map that Harry Beck created and that

Frank Pick commissioned now has many different variations all over the world. Throughout his time at the London Underground and then London Transport, Pick championed the network’s expansion by building new lines and new

stations out into the suburbs wherever new housing developments emerged.

At a time when public buildings in Britain were still designed in the traditional monumental style, Pick was determined that architecture of the new stations

should reflect the modern, progressive spirit of the rest of the network. Working closely with architect Charles Holden (1875-1960), he commissioned a

succession of landmark stations in the modern style (Figures 20 & 21). Pick and Holden travelled to Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands to seek inspiration there and to define a modern architectural style for Britain.

Frank Pick was one of the top design thinkers of his time. His beliefs were to create the highest possible standards of design, and apply them unsparingly across every aspect of the organisation. He brought ideals of European

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modernism into London and really pushed forward the capitals architecture of public buildings.

Through explaining the background of Frank Pick, the work and people that he commissioned, I aim to have given you an insight into the mindset of the man, arguably the first designer to implement his vision across a huge company, essentially creating large scale corporate branding. My research aims to identify whether the London Underground is still pushing forward Pick

value’s today. Most of the photography used in this section of the project I have taken as primary research. To show which photographs are my own I have labelled them with an ‘a’ at the end of the figure, for example - Figure 1a.

The modern London Underground still faces similar problems as it did ninety years ago (excluding the First World War). There are still issues with making sure that signage, way finding systems and branding to name but a few

elements, are been created and maintained to the highest possible standards. The current statement given on information regarding the work of the

corporate design team at the London Underground is this. “Good signing assists our customers in negotiating the Underground system and minimises the need to consult station staff. This is the ideal for maximising operational efficiency, for creating the best impression and for gaining customer satisfaction.

The journey from station entrance to the platform, from train to train, or to the station exit is often extremely complicated. In the enclosed, confined and busyenvironment of the Underground, lack of clear directions can cause

considerable anxiety. The principle aim in signing must always be to meet the information needs of the customer.” (Transport for London, Corporate Design Dept., 2002) Figures 22 to 26 show imagery shown alongside this statement.

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With the exceptions of electronic signage, the most important thing about the

current signage, and more broadly the London Undergrounds visual identity is that they have kept Johnston’s typeface.

When typography entered the digital age, countless pre-digital era fonts were remodelled for use on computers. One of these fonts is Johnston’s font for the London Underground. At the time when Johnston created it, it was named

“Underground Railway Johnston never contemplated creating a typeface, with the implication the word carries a family of different weights, of

roman and italic.” (Loxley, 2006) Currently the Underground uses a digital font

created by the Type Foundry P22. “All lettering within the sign system is carried out using New Johnston Medium, a modern adaptation of the historic Johnston

typeface, devised in 1906 by Edward Johnston for London Transport’s exclusive use. New Johnston is a legible typeface with a large ‘x’ height and being heavier in weight is easily read on signs.” (Transport for London, Corporate Design

Dept., 2002) As stated New Johnston Medium (Figure 27) is used on all signage for the London Underground, but there is a secondary version (Figure 28), that is slightly different and is for illuminated signage only.

For the general corporate identity of the Underground, the corporate department use 10 different versions of New Johnston – New Johnston Light

New Johnston Light Italic New Johnston Book

New Johnston Book Italic New Johnston Book Bold

New Johnston Book Bold Italic New Johnston Medium

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Figure 30a

Figure 31a

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New Johnston Medium Italic New Johnston Bold

New Johnston Bold Italic The New Johnston typeface does exactly the same job as it was originally

created for by Edward Johnston over a century ago. Different modern day

requirements have meant the production of a variety of different fonts within the same family to cope with the demands of a design savvy population.

Typography within many brands or visual identities is usually the backbone to the whole show; the average person does not understand the significance of these understated letters. In understanding the working signage of the

Underground, it has become clear to me that Johnston’s work is irreplaceable.

It is quite likely that there is a typeface in the modern market today that is more legible and more readable than New Johnston Medium. If Johnston was one day to be replaced I think that the new signage probably would work, but I believe

strongly that the Identity of the Underground would be massively compromised and that London Underground would become another substantial company with a utterly forgettable corporate visual identity.

In my opinion, today’s signage works well typographically. This is because they have used a remodelled of Johnston’s original font ‘Underground Railway

Block-letter’. Why fix something that’s not broken, far from broken. Application of the font seems thoroughly well thought out in terms of positioning of information on sign (Figures 30a & 31a), and also to a lesser extent the

positioning of the signs in their environment. The reason that I am not so

onvinced with the positioning of the signage is because in some stations I

found that there was some confusion with multiple signs from what appeared to be different eras.

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Figure 32a

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Clockwise from top left, Figure 33a, 34a, 35a and 36a

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The imagery in figures 22 to 26 show the photographs that London

Underground have included within their corporate manual for signage. Figure 32a is one that I have taken when researching and I feel gives a good example

of my previous point. This particular station where Figure 32a was taken, was actually the only one that I got confused with the track I needed to wait at. It was not just me that seemed to be unclear with the information, as another

passenger actually asked me while I was staring vacantly at the crowded mess of signs, if I knew where he need to go as well! The examples clearly shows

some differences between what London Underground would like to think all

their stations look like, and some of the reality that really faces passengers. In

the Undergrounds defence I will note that my camera that I took the photograph with does not help paint the best picture combined with the fact I had little time

to set a good shot. Most stations that I visited did seem to have signage working in the way that the corporate design team have set out in their manual.

As I have stated several times Frank Pick was a man with an eye for detail. One thing that did catch my attention was how the underground did not actually

seem that clean. There was no litter laying around or any disgarded leaflets on

the floor, but some of the older stations seemed grubby and greasy. This feeling led me to realise that most of the permanent signs were particularly unclean, please refer to figures 33a to 35a. Signs are the main element of the

identity, and the fact that most of them are not kept clean does not really give

the best of impressions. It would be possible to argue that this small detail does

not really change that much, and to a certain extent I agree. I think that there are other elements such as scaffolding and construction works (figure 37a), paper signs (figure 36a), and a bombardment of advertising that also gives a gloomy reception to the passengers. One thing that I have learnt is that maintaining a visual identity is almost as important as creating it in the first place.

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Figure 37a

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Electronic signage is one of the first major pieces of information design that the passenger is likely to use when entering a train station, usually above ground,

but sometimes below ground. The signage displays departure and arrival times, which platform the train is leaving from and whether the train is on time. It is

usually displayed on a large backlit screen, positioned in a large area where all passengers that are departing can view the information at the same time. (Figure 38a) Because of the need for multiple passengers to view the

information at the same time the screens are positioned well above the natural eye line of the viewer, which in turn adds distance to the information that the

viewer is asked to read from. Other factors that are a hindrance to readability

of these electronic signs are that most of the information text is set with small

line spacing. This I believe is down to economy of space. Printed signage seems to have lost out for a similar reason, that the physical amount of space that a

printed sign would need to display all the information that an electronic sign

can present would be a significant amount more. This need for larger signs and more space all incurs more funding. Although the production of electronic signage is a sizeable cost more than printed signage, the bonuses are that electronic information can be changed instantly and at no cost. This is important as train times and information change constantly. However

electronic signage does not escape its own economy of space problems.

Because the screens cost so much to make, it is important that they too are also as small as possible. In turn this means that solutions to minimize electronic space have created less readability with things like scrolling, moving and flashing typography.

The key necessity is whether the information displayed, printed or electronic, is accessible. I think that electronic screens are a useful way of being able to

update information instantly which is important for a train station. However, the way that these screens currently display information is not efficient enough in

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Figure 39

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terms of readability. Another aspect that electronic signage in train stations has not conquered yet is having information that can be displayed within the

guidelines that an identity or brand might want to enforce. In all London

Underground stations there are printed and electronic signs. Some electronic signs on platforms are displayed on mounted televisions that hang from the ceiling. I believe that these are the best form of electronic signage because television screens are able to display information in a clear and highly

legible font. They also only ever display a limited amount of information so there is never any feeling that information is being squeezed in. Television

screens would also be able to maintain the identity of the station, as any form of graphics could be applied, this would create a consistency that would improve passengers understanding of the information.

Currently the London Undergrounds electronic departure and arrival display

boards are not under the jurisdiction of the Corporate Design agency, “Train in-

dicators, although strictly not part of the fixed sign system, fall into the category of destination information .� (Transport for London, Corporate Design Dept, 2002) I think that when technology or in reality finances for the London Underground are free enough will there be a change of departments for destination information.

It has been proven internationally that great architecture combined with a solid visual identity can create breathtaking environments for passengers. My first

case in point is of the Moscow Metro, and I have chosen this system, although

very different in visual style and a complete contrast to London because it was a system that Pick advised on in its early years (Figures 39 &40). In the book

Metro, the story of the underground railway, the author David Bennett describes the magnificence of the Moscow Metro and quotes from a commemorative book published in 1936.

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“By the way of example we looked at the metros of London and New York and

concluded that with the exception of some recent London Stations, they were all

generally dirty, run down and dull to look at. It seems that in Capitalist countries it is considered pointless to spend more than the bare minimum on a public

service. In the Soviet Union we have a completely different attitude: we want to make a passenger’s journey on the Underground not only as comfortable but

also as enjoyable as possible.” (Bennett, 2004) Having looked at photographs

shown in Bennett’s book and from other sources the statement seems like a far one to make. I believe the key in the success for the Moscow Metro was their

initial goal when creating their system. “The design on the Metro stations was determined by a single and overriding creative notion which was accepted unconditionally by all the architects without exception. The underground

structures should not look like underground structures, they should not remind people of being below the surface without day light. The stations should be

filled with light, should feel spacious, and should be bright and happy places.” (Bennett, 2004)

The Moscow Metro has many wonderful architectural designs and really

astonishes first time passengers. It differs from most other metros because when it was being created it rejected the modernist movement, and it was

decided as it was the beginning of Stalin’s era that the Moscow Metro was to be a “retrogressive return to an architecture with a recognisable identity and that was full of imperialist ambition.” (Bennett, 2004)

Many other metro systems highlighted in Bennett’s book are also very

impressive visually. Better comparisons or possible goals that the London

Underground should aim to better, but not replicate are systems like Munich

(figures 44 to 46) or Brussels (figures 41 to 43). These systems really do have the appearance of a happier, healthier environment.

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Figure 47

Figure 49a

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Edward Johnston’s typeface is the written language of the London Underground. The famous London Underground bullseye, as it is known, also created by

Johnston was introduced in the early 1920’s. The current bullseye is quite a bit

different to the original from Johnston’s period. The newest versions are printed onto a white background with a generous amount of space around the symbol

(Figure 47 & 49a). This is framed by a medium sized black metal border that is bolted on the wall. In some of the older stations, the bullseye is not backed in

exactly the same way (figures 48 & 50a). Originally I thought that this was a sign

that the Undergrounds Corporate department have not been updating efficiently and that they were straying from a complete, singular message. However having read through the corporate manual on signage the roundels with silhouette

backing are created that way because the area in which they are displayed are labelled as architecturally sensitive.

Looking to a broader perspective there are good things happening within the area of London transport. St Pancras Station (Figure 51a) has just finished massive refurbishment according to Design Week Article, “Praise is being lavished on what is being called an admirable mix of old and new styles. Although the historic conservation, architecture and engineering have

somewhat stolen the limelight, branding, information and graphics specialists have worked to create a recognisable and seamless system spanning

information and retail across the three sister stations of High Speed Line One.” (Design Week, 2007)

From the research I have found this seems to be a fair observation on the new signage system. Design Week also commented on the restrictions that the

Transport Design Consultancy had to deal with. “Because St Pancras is Grade I-listed, English Heritage had to approve the size, depth, length, colour and

placement of every piece of signage, graphics and information, according to

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Figure 52a

Figure 54

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Howard. Other constraints came from the Strategic Rail Authority, which oversaw accessibility considerations, ensuring that lettering, characters, pictograms (Figure 53a) and language met the latest legislation.

Typeface specialist Dalton Maag was commissioned by Transport Design Consultancy to create a ‘highly legible, yet condensed font that would accommodate the long station names’ throughout the three stations.” (Design Week, 2007) Figure 52a.

Printed material that I picked up from varying Underground stations gives a

good insight into the current situation with the branding of the Underground

and how involved they are with Art and Design. Platform for Art or Art on the

Underground as it has been known since its rebranding in November 2007 is a department of the London Underground. Its aims are to be creating a new

artistic legacy. “LU is one of the most unusual and widely visited venues for art in the world, providing passengers with an ambitious and successful

combination of visual art, poetry and music. Art on the Underground’s

programme will expand to include a permanent collection, permanent art commissions across the network, and ongoing temporary art works.”

(Transport for London, 2007) When I was doing my research the pocket map I used had a painting by Jeremy Deller of the Undergrounds longest serving

employee John Hough (Figure 54). Art on the Underground has commissioned artists to create a series of art works for the front of the underground pocket

tube map. Other artists involved in the project include Yinka Shonibare, David Shrigley, Liam Gillick, Gary Hume and Emma Kay (Figure 55). “As more and

more elements of the Transport for London system are becoming digitised, the work reminds us of the thousands of people behind the scenes working on the ground to bring it to life.” (Transport for London, 2007)

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Figure 56a

Figure 58 Figure 57a

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These initiatives that Transport for London have created seem to inform us that there is a genuine importance on keeping art and design as integral elements

of the companies perceived brand. I do however feel that there is still more that

could be done. As great as Art on the Underground is, it appears it’s been put on a pedestal, in my opinion. By this I mean that there is the opportunity to go and see exhibitions in specific areas of specific stations, but there is a small amount of Art and Design actually around the main areas of the underground that is

used by passengers, not surprisingly what is more commonly found are ‘notice me’ posters coming from every angle. Most of the leaflets and posters (Figures

56a & 57a) available to passengers are stuffed full of nothingness. The fares and tickets leaflet designed for the 2nd January, figure 58, makes a clear example of my point. The typography used is New Johnston, which as I have already

mentioned is more than acceptable as it is the identity of London Underground, however the photography is less than inspiring and falls neatly into a corporate look. I understand that tight budgets and tighter deadlines are required with most design of this nature but I strongly believe that there is in some cases a need for an identity to be more flexible. Contemporary art and design on a

leaflet of this nature I feel would really be something to shout about. I agree with the Russian perspective when they say that capitalist countries like

England see it “pointless to spend more than the bare minimum on a public service.” (Bennett, 2004)

The type of work that Art on the Underground is doing is good to see, but it does not really disprove my point about Art and Design being on a pedestal. All of the work that Art on the Underground seem to do are projects that the enthusiast

is likely to visit or view, and most certainly enjoy, but in my opinion there is not enough work that is likely to be viewed by the casual observer. This is something that Frank Pick really championed.

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To conclude, my first question that I asked was is the London Underground still the world’s most progressive transport system. In my opinion I do not believe that there has been much improvement since the 1948, when London Trans-

port was nationalised. I believe that the main problem with LUL is that it has no singular owner. The Greater London Authority (GLA), headed by Bob Kiley, was established in 2000. They formed Transport for London (TfL). Kiley believes

that the problem was with “government indifference” and “managerial mistakes and erratic and inadequate funding” (Glancey, 2003). This and the threat of PPP or Public-Private Partnership set up by the Blair government which threatens

to ruin the Underground. Other cities around the world have been able to focus

on investing and creating a public transport system that gives a great service to

their passengers. I share Jonathan Glancey’s opinion when he says “why should any of it should be allowed to fall into the hands of business people who have more of an eye for the profit to be made on property development above stations, than they have on tracks, trains and signals.” (Glancey, 2003).

Bennett writes “Underground poster art was a very English phenomenon –

nowhere else in the world has art and graphic design of such quality been seen to promote travel on the underground.” (Bennett, 2004) Unfortunately for the underground passenger of 2008, Bennett was referring to the design during Frank Picks reign. Art on the Underground does a good job within the

boundaries that it is able to cover, but unfortunately I think it is more the fact that London Underground can claim they are still in tune with the art and design world.

Although I think that much of Picks philosophy is lost with our own transport system, it seems that his views have been more easily adopted abroad. Our Page 35

Underground system still uses much of the work that Pick commissioned or

implemented, but to me that does not suggest it is in tune with his philosophy.

Visions Of A Pioneer Jonathan Pinhorn

Pick was someone that was able to implement his vision, clearly and concisely

across a huge company. He was a patron of the arts and believed strongly in the future of design and what it can bring. In my opinion if London Underground

was really continuing with his philosophy, many things would be different. For

example, I think that London’s Underground would be full of art and design that lives, breathes and changes alongside the passengers that commute daily, not

tucked away in the corner where there is the option to visit, or printed on the

smallest leaflet passengers use on the system. I think that it would be from up

and coming and well established contemporary artists, which are really pushing the subject forward. Signage I think would, and maybe will at some stage be

changed. I don’t think that it will be changed because Johnston’s work falls out of favour, more likely it will be changed because of technological development

in signage, maybe in the future everything will be electronic and the need for a typeface to be read on screen will need to be used instead.

Finally I think that even if there was someone sitting in a similar position that

Pick had when he was in charge, currently there is too many factors that would influence any good work being done. Like the Public/Private debate, the government wanting to use the underground to suit their needs, lack of

investment, and finally to many business people have their claws in our underground and they do not have not got a clue about branding and

identity and are only interested in profit. I doubt it was ever about profit for Pick, although he would have created a lot of it for his company.

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year 3 dissertation B.I.A.D.

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 Figure 10 Figure 11 Figure 12 Figure 13 Figure 14 Figure 15 Figure 16 Figure 17 Figure 18 Figure 19 Figure 20 Figure 21 Figure 22 Figure 23 Figure 24 Figure 25 Figure 26 Figure 27 Figure 28

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Figure 29

Frank Pick - (London Transport Museum, 2007)

No Need to ask a p’liceman, John Hassell - (LTM, 2007) Recruitment, Frank Brangwyn - (LTM, 2007) Recruitment, Frank Brangwyn - (LTM, 2007) Harvest, John Walter West - (LTM, 2007)

Thanks to the Underground, Hans Schleger at Zero - (LTM, 2007) The North Downs, McKnight Kauffer - (LTM, 2007) Keeps London Going, Man Ray - (LTM, 2007)

South kensington Museums, Edward Wadsworth - (LTM, 2007) Moscow Metro - (Bennett, 2004) Edward Johnston - (LTM, 2007)

Johnstons orginal typeface - (Design Museum, 2006) Early Bullseye logos (Lawrence, 2000) WH Smiths Logo - (W H Smiths, 2008)

Trajan Column Inscription - (Typophile, 2000) Stingemore’s Final Map - (Ken Garland, 1994) Harry Beck - (Ken Garland, 1994)

Harry Beck’s first map - (Ken Garland, 1994)

Harry Beck’s second map - (Ken Garland, 1994) Charles Holden’s Architecture - (LTM, 2007) Charles Holden’s Architecture - (LTM, 2007)

Imagery from Manual - (TfL, Corporate Design Dept., 2002) Imagery from Manual - (TfL, Corporate Design Dept., 2002) Imagery from Manual - (TfL, Corporate Design Dept., 2002) Imagery from Manual - (TfL, Corporate Design Dept., 2002) Imagery from Manual - (TfL, Corporate Design Dept., 2002) New Johnston Bold - (TfL, Corporate Design Dept., 2002)

Johnston Bold Illuminated - (TfL, Corporate Design Dept., 2002) New Johnston Family - (TfL, Corporate Design Dept., 2002)

Visions Of A Pioneer Jonathan Pinhorn

Figure 30a Figure 31a Figure 32a Figure 33a Figure 34a Figure 35a Figure 36a Figure 37a Figure 38a Figure 39 Figure 40 Figure 41 Figure 42 Figure 43 Figure 44 Figure 45 Figure 46 Figure 47 Figure 48 Figure 49a Figure 50a Figure 51a Figure 52a Figure 53a Figure 54 Figure 55 Figure 56a Figure 57a Figure 58

Overhead Directional Signage - Primary Research

No Entry Outside Covent Garden - Primary Research

Confusion with old and new signs - Primary Research Unclean Wayout Sign - Primary Research

Mangified Wayout Sign - Primary Research

Unclean Track Information Sign - Primary Research Paper Sign - Primary Research

Scaffold Ceiling - Primary Research

Electronic Depart and Arrive Signage Board

Moscow Metro Architecture - (Bennett, 2004) Moscow Metro Architecture - (Bennett, 2004) Brussells Metro Imagery - (Bennett, 2004) Brussells Metro Imagery - (Bennett, 2004) Brussells Metro Imagery - (Bennett, 2004) Munich Metro Imagery - (Bennett, 2004) Munich Metro Imagery - (Bennett, 2004) Munich Metro Imagery - (Bennett, 2004)

Modern Spec’s for Bullseye - (TfL, Corporate Design Dept., 2002) Delicate Surface Bullseye - (TfL, Corporate Design Dept., 2002) Kings Cross Bullseye - Primary Research Earls Court Bullseye - Primary Research St Pancras Station - Primary Research

Dalton Maag Signage - Primary Research Dalton Maag Signage - Primary Research John Gough, Jeremy Deller - (TfL, 2007) Emma Kay - (TfL, 2007)

Improving Your Facilities, LUL Poster - Primary Research

We Are Transforming Your Tube, LUL Poster - Primary Research Fares and Tickets Leaflet, Scanned in - - Primary Research

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year 3 dissertation B.I.A.D.

Barman, C. (1979). The Man Who Built London Transport. Devon: David & Charles Ltd. Bennett, D. (2004). Metro, The Story Of The Underground Railway. London: Octopus Publishing

Group Ltd.

David Lawrence. (2000). A Logo For London. Harrow Weald, Middlesex: Capital Transport Publishing. Design Museum. (2006, November 26). Frank Pick. Retrieved December 2007, from Design Museum: http://www.

Design Week. (2007, November 14th). Signposting The Future. Retrieved November 14th, 2007, from Design Week: Glancey, J. (2003).

London, Bread and Circuses. London: Verso. Hollis, R. (1994). Graphic Design, A Concise History. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd.

Ken Garland. (1994). Mr Beck’s Underground Map. Harrow Weald, Middlesex: Capital Transport Page 39


Visions Of A Pioneer Jonathan Pinhorn

London Transport Museum. (2007). Underground Posters and the Second World War. Retrieved 2007, from London Transport Museum: Lovett, G. (2007, November 24). Platform for Art Rebrands. Retrieved November 24, 2007, from Design Week: Loxley, S. (2006). The Secret History of Letters. London: I.B. Tauris. Ltd. Transport for London. (2007). Art on the Underground. Retrieved 2007, from Transport for London: http://

Transport for London, Corporate Design Dept. (2002, October). Transport for London, Corporate Design. Retrieved January 2008, from Transport for London: Typophile. (2000). Trajans Column. Retrieved January 1, 2008, from Typophile: W H Smiths. (2008). Retrieved January 2008, from W H Smiths:

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Visions of a Pioneer  

A comparative look at the years Frank Pick was in charge of the London Underground to the current system we use today.

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