The London transport logo, or ‘roundel’ as it is more commonly known, was first introduced on London’s Underground in 1908. Since then it has evolved to become one of the most recognisable examples of branding in the world. Appearing on Tube stations, buses, posters, trams, taxis, boats, uniforms and bicycles, to name a few, the logo has become synonymous with London.
London Transport Museum is holding a two-day event at its Depot in Acton, west London, which is home to over 320,000 objects and is normally closed to the public, where it will explore the history of the roundel through talks and tours. There will also be arts and crafts, street food and family activities, and guests will have a chance to explore the Museum’s huge collection of restored buses, trams, Tube carriages and taxis from the past 150 years of transport in the capital.
Activities at the Open Weekend include:
- A scavenger hunt through the Depot to find some of the weird and wonderful examples of early roundel designs, including one featuring a Native American Chief
- Expert-led talks exploring the work of calligrapher Edward Johnston, the man who redesigned the roundel and developed the London Underground typeface in 1916
- A chance to peruse the largest public collection of London transport signage, which includes samples spanning over 150 years and from bygone eras, such as signs for Waiting Rooms and Station Toilets, with examples of different font prototypes, layouts and design styles on display
- Guided tours of the Depot poster store, with an emphasis on the legacy of Frank Pick – the Managing Director of London Underground in the 1920s who branded the network and devised the roundel – with a look at some of the posters he commissioned, including works by surrealist artist Man Ray
- Creative arts and crafts with canvas tote bag printing using an array of roundel designs
- A talk from historian Oliver Green on the story of trams and trains over the last 100 years. Hear how Frank Pick’s vision brought different modes of transport together under a unified brand
- The opportunity to climb aboard the Metropolitan Railway ‘Jubilee’ carriage, the only surviving example of a stock built by Craven Brothers of Sheffield in 1892 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. The carriage was restored by London Transport Museum in 2013 and features a beautiful wooden livery with gold leaf lettering
- Delicious street food and refreshments from Street Dots traders, to be enjoyed in an outdoors Food Village complete with a mini picnic green
The London Transport Museum Depot Open Weekend takes place from 11am to 5pm on the 24th & 25th of September, and tickets are available at www.ltmuseum.co.uk/open-weekends
Tickets cost £10 for adults and £8 for concessions. Children and young people aged 17 and under go free (under 16s must be accompanied by an adult). London Transport Museum Friends also go free. Tickets are valid for both days.