Transport for London’s ‘Bus Stop Not in Use’ signs inevitably cause some level of frustration for the capital’s bus passengers, but designer Keith Gray has reworked these messages of disruption into a series of courier-style bags…
Gray’s latest project for TfL reworks one of the bus network’s most infamous signs – the ‘flag’ which is placed over the top of a bus stop when it is temporarily closed.
“A couple of years ago I found a Bus Stop Not In Use sleeve discarded on a pavement in Hackney,” Gray explains. “At the time I needed a portfolio bag to take my screenprints to and from Printclub – it was an ideal size, so I reconstructed it to be of use in that way.”
According to Gray, the Not In Use sleeve has two open sides, so he attached a heavy duty zip to these and designed two ‘webbing’ straps into the construction, so it could then be carried over the shoulders – particularly handy when travelling by bike.
“I then took it to TfL and they liked it so much that they put it into production as a celebratory project for their ‘Year of the Bus’ initiative that kicked off last month at Design Junction,” he adds.
“I like the idea of taking something used as signage for something that is out of use – a bus stop – and transforming the ‘dis-used’ into ‘useful’. It’s a kind of positive spin on a ‘Bus Stop Product Recall’, if you like.”
In 2003, Gray was one of CR’s Creative Futures. For that year’s scheme each recipient was given a window in Selfridges in London to install a project: Gray’s idea was to produce a graphic representation of the noise pollution outside the store.
In 2010 he produced the set of alternative commemorative plates for the wedding of Prince William & Kate Middleton while at KesselsKramer in London. More recently he published Product Recall, a book of ‘product recall notices’.