Beginning in the pioneering Victorian age, the author charts the evolution of architecture, branding, typeface, map design, interior and textile styles, posters, signage and graphic design and how these came together to shape the Underground's identity, and the character of London itself.
Abeautifully illustrated and comprehensive history of one of the world's most celebrated design achievements, and of the visionaries who brought it to life.
Since its establishment 150 years ago as the world's first urban subway, the London Underground has continuously set a benchmark for design that has influenced transit systems from New York to Tokyo, Moscow to Paris and beyond. London Underground by Design is the first meticulous study of every aspect of that feat.
Beginning in the pioneering Victorian age, Mark Ovenden charts the evolution of architecture, branding, typeface, map design, interior and textile styles, posters, signage and graphic design and how these came together to shape not just the Underground's identity, but the character of London itself. This is the story of celebrated designers - from Frank Pick, the guru who conceptualised the modern Tube's look under the 'design fit for purpose' mantra, to Harry Beck, Tube diagram creator, and from Marion Dorn, one of the twentieth century's leading textile designers, to Edward Johnston, creator of the distinctive font that bears his name, as well as Leslie Green, designer of central London's distinctive ruby-red tiled stations, and the Design Research Unit's head, Misha Black, who in the 1960s rebranded British Railways and created the Victoria line's distinctive style, and Sir Norman Foster, architect of Canary Wharf station.
Rich with hundreds of illustrations, some never before seen, London Underground by Design shows that design is not just about aesthetic pleasure, but is crucial to how we get around.
Mark Ovenden is a British writer and broadcaster. His previous books are Metro Maps of the World , Paris Metro Style and Great Railway Maps of the World. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and lives in London.
This is a terrific coffee table book. It's a work of art in itself. Mark Ovenden has created a book that will transport the lucky recipient on an eccentric and world tour they will not forget Bookseller [Praise for Great Railway Maps of the World]: Just the ticket ... it is a glorious celebration of the pioneering history - and romance - of the railways Sunday Times Travel Books of the Year 2011 This beautifully illustrated history is a worthy tribute [to 150 years of design]. Shortlist A wonderful, handsome book ... it makes me want to nerd out, get a travel card and whiz out to the strange ends of Metroland or the UFO shape of Southgate station. -- Robert Bownes/Andrew Tuck Monocle Weekly Mark Ovenden has devotedly documented the designs associated with [the Underground] ... "addictive" for anyone interested in the look of everyday life. Telegraph I wouldn't ordinarily enthuse about one book at such length, but this is an important work...not because it's an entertaining read (it is), but because it identifies the birth of a brand...and records the birth of a new idea - the transport interchange. -- Kevin McCloud Grand Designs Magazine
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