The Null Device

The London Underground

Whether the London Underground is the greatest public transport system in the world is debatable, but it certainly seems to be one of the most branded. The range of Tube-brand merchandise you can buy is astounding; it ranges from T-shirts and fridge magnets to saucy underwear and tea. The only thing that seems to be missing is Tube toothpaste.

Also, the mythology of the Underground extends beyond its history and famous ghost stations; in the London Transport Museum shop, there were not only books on the history of the Underground (quite a few of those, going all the way up to expensive coffee-table books), and books on the history of each line thereof, but books on the history of the famous Tube map, and of the typefaces used for signage. Not to mention a boxed PC/Mac version of the Tube font itself (Johnston Underground, from US type foundry P22), which appears in the new title graphic of this page).

There are 5 comments on "The London Underground":

Posted by: Graham Tue Oct 29 08:29:31 2002

Hmm, well the font certainly looks good...

Posted by: Claire Thu Oct 31 07:59:22 2002

Awesome museum, isn't it? My partner and I spent an entire day there (out of the two days we spent in London). And we bought the books on the typeface and the map!

Posted by: acb Thu Oct 31 11:03:20 2002

It is; alas, I arrived in the late afternoon and didn't have the time to see part of it (the part about signalling on the Underground and such). I'm tempted to get a book or three though (as well as the font which I picked up) before I leave.

Posted by: Luke Mon Nov 4 02:01:46 2002

The book on the art of the underground is particularly compelling, as is one of the ones on abandoned stations.

If, however, you can snag me one of those terrifying "Safe Under The Watchful Eyes" posters from the bus shelters there, I *will* love you forever.

Aw, and I know where the title picture is, too. Sniff.

Posted by: acb Mon Nov 4 23:54:09 2002

As a matter of fact, I hace a digital photo of one of the Watchful Eyes posters. It looked rather like something off the set of Brazil, almost self-parodyingly Orwellian.

Chalk Farm Rd. isn't far from where the Bowlie Nite will be, apparently.