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Poster Art 150: London Underground’s Greatest Designs

Posted at 10:00 am, February 18, 2013 in Arts & Entertainment, Transport
London Transport at London's service, by Misha Black and John Barker (Kraber), 1947-(1)

Trust the London Transport Museum to pull out all the stops to celebrate the Tube’s big 150. They’ve delved into their archive of 3,300 Underground posters (I’d love to be let loose in there to snoop around!) and got a panel of experts to pull out their 150 from each decade since the 1880s, including many big name artists like Man Ray, Paul Nash and Edward McKnight Kauffer (below).

Power; the nerve centre of London's Underground, by Edward McKnight Kauffer, 1931

You’ll recognise lots of the iconic posters on display but there will be plenty to baffle, delight and intrigue even the heartiest of Tube buff. To make it more managble, the posters have been split up into themes including ‘Brightest London’ (nights out and sporting events), ‘Finding your way’ (maps, etiquette and reassuring messages), ‘Love your city’ (the best of the capital’s landmarks’ and ‘Keeps London going’ (developments, technology, improvements etc).

To summer sales by Underground, by Horace Taylor, 1926

These posters aren’t merely a celebration of our treasured Underground system, but a tribute to all the things that makes this city and its inhabitants so great: culture, diversity, reliability, technology, fun, beauty, speed and excitement. Sonya Barber

For info, see Poster Art 150 listing and see more at our poster gallery.

They’re asking for everyone to vote for their favourite. I found it too hard to choose so some of my faves are below. You’ll just have to go along to judge for yourself.

London 2026 AD; this is all in the air, by Montague B Black, 1926 Or take the Tube, by Nick Hardcastle, 1987. Brightest London and home by Underground, by Horace Taylor, 1924 By Underground to fresh air, by Maxwell Ashby Armfield, 1915


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