As part of the celebrations for London Underground’s 150th anniversary, the Royal Mail is to release stamps featuring famous artwork created for the network
One set of six stamps, designed by Hat-Trick, forms a timeline of the development of the London Underground from the early Metropolitan Line service with its steam driven trains to the most modern Jubilee Line Station, Canary Wharf. Hat-Trick’s Gareth Howat says that “Our approach was to deliberately use a mix of photography, graphic art and illustration as it’s such a rich visual subject. The only one that was commissioned was the shot of Canary Wharf, which was shot by Paul Grundy, the rest are originals, some of which we had to enhance slightly.”
A graphic device at the foot of each stamp, rendered in the colours of various LU lines and style to recall the LU map, links the stamps together and forms the timeline.
Lithograph one of the first underground passenger trains depicted near Paddington station (Praed Street), 1863
Construction work in progress at British Museum Underground station, Central London Railway. Unknown photographer, January 1898
Detal of illustration used on poster publicity encouraging underground travel.
Detail of poster illustration by Tom Eckersley showing Boston Manor station, built in 1934
AN Wolstenholme drawing of 1938 rolling stock which appears on the cover of an Ian Allan ABC spotter’s book
Canary Wharf London Underground Station, Jubilee Line Extension designed by Foster and Partners. Photographer Paul Grundy
The coins were designed by Barber Osgerby
and Edwina Ellis
The set of four stamps by NB each features three classic London Underground advertising posters.
“There’s a wealth of beautiful posters to choose from [in the TFL archive] so it was difficult to choose just four in total,” says NB’s Nick Finney. “So, we played with multiple posters in a row across a longer format horizontal stamp. We wanted to evoke posters being displayed in the tunnel of the underground station (the modern train speeding past) and the windows of a carriage.”
“Once we had the concept down it was a case of researching specific styles, eras and artists in order to ensure we were representing the best set of 16 posters over 4 stamps we could,” Finney continues.
“We explored different ways to select our final posters and give a fair representation of the posters’ history. We started by looking at themes; distinguishing each set of four posters by colour, by topic. Chronologically? While these were good starting points, in the end it became a decision based on what worked best visually as a set, reduced down from over a metre in height down to around 20mm. We had to be careful to cross-check our sources and gain the necessary permissions. That’s where the team at TFL came in handy; providing the expertise on choices, sources and facts,” Finney says.
Posters featured (l to r): London Transport Collection, by Tom Eckersley, 1975; Zoo, by Abram Games, 1976; Tate Gallery by Tube, by David Booth and Malcolm Fowler and Nancy Fowler and agency Fine White Line, 1986
CR in Print
The January issue of Creative Review is all about the Money – well, almost. What do you earn? Is everyone else getting more? Do you charge enough for your work? How much would it cost to set up on your own? Is there a better way of getting paid? These and many more questions are addressed in January’s CR.
But if money’s not your thing, there’s plenty more in the issue: interviews with photographer Alexander James, designer Mirko Borsche and Professor Neville Brody. Plus, Rick Poynor on Anarchy magazine, the influence of the atomic age on comic books, Paul Belford’s art direction column, Daniel Benneworth-Gray’s This Designer’s Life column and Gordon Comstock on the collected memos, letters and assorted writings of legendary adman David Ogilvy.
Please note, CR now has a limited presence on the newsstand at WH Smith high street stores (although it can still be found in WH Smith travel branches at train stations and airports). If you cannot find a copy of CR in your town, your WH Smith store or a local independent newsagent can order it for you. You can search for your nearest stockist here. Alternatively, call us on 020 7970 4878 to buy a copy direct from us. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 970 4878 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.
CR for the iPad
Read in-depth features and analysis plus exclusive iPad-only content in the Creative Review iPad App. Longer, more in-depth features than we run on the blog, portfolios of great, full-screen images and hi-res video. If the blog is about news, comment and debate, the iPad is about inspiration, viewing and reading. As well as providing exclusive, iPad-only content, the app will also update with new content throughout each month.