9 Classic Posters From the London Tube's 150 Year History

Illustration for article titled 9 Classic Posters From the London Tube's 150 Year History

The London Underground secured a place in the pantheon of good graphic design with engineer Harry Beck’s topologic Tube Map from 1933. In addition to that icon, however, the transit system has a pretty substantial history of bringing top-notch visuals to the subterranean masses; posters promoting everything from the Underground’s pleasant temperature control—cooler on hot days and warmer when it’s foggy!—to motor shows to the Regent’s Park Zoo have adorned station walls (and delighted passengers) for decades.

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This year marks a sesquicentennial of service for the sprawling mode of transport’s in England’s capital city; to commemorate the occasion, 150 original prints will be on display at Covent Garden, selected from an incredible collection of over 3,000. Check out the whole set of 150 here, where you can also vote for your fave, but be warned—once you start clicking through it’s tough to quit until you’ve seen ‘em all. And if you find one you can’t live without, a bunch are actually available for purchase as reproductions for a cool $15, delivered straight to your door—no commute necessary.

Which of these would catch your eye on the way to work in the morning?


Designed by Man Ray, 1938.

Illustration for article titled 9 Classic Posters From the London Tube's 150 Year History

Designed by Montague P. Black, 1926.

Illustration for article titled 9 Classic Posters From the London Tube's 150 Year History

Designed by Horace Taylor, 1926.

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Designed by Frederick Charles Herrick, 1927.

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Designed by James Fitton, 1948.

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Designed by Alfred Leete, 1927.

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Designed by Edward McKnight Kauffer, 1931.

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Designed by Vladimir Polunin, 1930.

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Designed by Maxwell Ashby Armfield, 1915.

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Does your public transit system have any particularly great (or not) art? Drop it in the comments!

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DISCUSSION

brendandriscoll
Started as a Cleric and Ended up an Innkeeper

I know this is slightly digressive from the topic, but whenever I travel to Britain, I am always amazed at the efficiency of the public transit system they have. The stations are clean, the trains don't pussyfoot around when it's time to leave(ie: You better be on one side of those doors when they close), and unless something catastrophic happens, delays don't last longer than 10 minutes (at the absolute most extreme cases). C'mon America, let's step it up a bit.