The Roundel seesaw

London Underground’s much-loved Roundel has been reimagined as a playful piece of furniture by Kingston student Clare Newsam as part of a project tying in with the current issue of CR

London Underground’s much-loved Roundel has been reimagined as a playful piece of furniture by Kingston student Clare Newsam as part of a project tying in with the current issue of CR

Creative Review’s current issue is dedicated to the design, art and advertising of the London Underground. Last month, in one of my regular sessions with third year graphics students at Kingston, I set them the (very loose) brief of coming up with a response to the Tube system, their experience of it and the qualities of the network’s branding and communications. We had some brilliant responses (which I will put together in a future post) but I felt this one deserved a post of its own.


Clare Newsam presents here Roundel Seesaw at Kingston University


In the issue, I interview Mike Walton, the London Transport Museum’s head of trading who is responsible for merchandise. The Transport Museum shop currently sells some 2,500 product lines, including high-end items of furniture and pieces using material from train carriages.

In her piece, Clare has referenced this while also playing on the power of the Roundel (something we also discuss in the mag) and the affection people feel for it. It’s made from plywood, cut by Clare herself, while seats are in genuine LU moquette fabric – Clare bought two scatter cushions from the Transport Museum shop, took them apart and remade them to fit her design.


Testing out the seesaw with a fellow student


Yes, it’s a bit of fun, but there’s some good thinking behind it – how many other logos could you imagine someone wanting in their home as a piece of furniture? And I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see one of these in the Transport Musuem shop sometime soon.



See more of Clare Newsam’s work here



CR in print
The March issue of CR magazine celebrates 150 years of the London Underground. In it we introduce a new book by Mark Ovenden, which is the first study of all aspects of the tube’s design evolution; we ask Harry Beck authority, Ken Garland, what he makes of a new tube map concept by Mark Noad; we investigate the enduring appeal of Edward Johnston’s eponymous typeface; Michael Evamy reports on the design story of world-famous roundel; we look at the London Transport Museum’s new exhibition of 150 key posters from its archive; we explore the rich history of platform art, and also the Underground’s communications and advertising, past and present. Plus, we talk to London Transport Museum’s head of trading about TfL’s approach to brand licensing and merchandising. In Crit, Rick Poynor reviews Branding Terror, a book about terrorist logos, while Paul Belford looks at how a 1980 ad managed to do away with everything bar a product demo. Finally, Daniel Benneworth-Grey reflects on the merits on working home alone. Buy your copy here.

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What's the story?

The Storytelling issue, Oct/Nov 2017, is out now.
We invited writers to respond to our cover image
this month: read their stories inside.
PLUS: Tom Gauld, Oliver Jeffers, Giphy & S-Town

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