Over the last few weeks, we’ve noticed some rather special ‘tube courtesy’ posters running on the London Underground network, each of which bears the inky hallmarks of one man and one man only: illustrator Matthieu Bessudo aka McBess…
The Frenchman’s distinctive style can be seen on platforms across the tube network as part of TfL’s Travel Better London campaign. Each of the posters features an illustrated scene and a poem which aims to remind travellers to be aware of others, to move down platforms or the inside of tube carriages.
It also addresses that particular tube driver’s bugbear: obstructing the doors. It’s no doubt a more subtle way of approaching the problem, which is often dealt with via in-carriage announcements. Only this week, as a train I was on waited to leave the station, the driver reminded passengers of this dangerous pursuit by saying “Mind the doors ladies and gents. Doors, doors, doors, doors, doors.”
The posters are used to great effect on the tube walls across from the platforms. Oxford Circus station has a bank of them running the length of the platform, for example. The incident illustrated in the version below must surely be up there as one of the tube travellers’ most heinous crimes.
According to TfL, McBess, who has been based in London for sevreal years, created both the ‘behaviours’ posters and the iconic logo for the campaign. All the typography is hand-drawn and McBess has also added himself as a character in many of the posters (he is “good commuter”, he says).
These three shown below deal with offering seats to those in need; waiting for the next station if you feel sick; and, again, door obstruction.
Featured here are a few snaps taken by the CR team but there is a great film of McBess at work on the project, which can be viewed here.
Also worth looking at is the special site for the other aspect of the the campaign, which shows the work of the poets that TfL have been teaming up with to communicate the message of travelling more courteously: travelbetterlondon.tumblr.com.
More of McBess’ work at mcbess.com.