Poster Art

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Tea & Scones:

The London underground rail network – commonly known as The Tube, is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. Happy Birthday tube!

Like most everyday commuters I have a love/hate relationship with the tube, which I'm willing to put aside for now, as it does a pretty swell job at keeping London moving (yes, this is Transport For London’s current slogan which has subliminally seeped into my brain).

As part of the birthday celebrations the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden is holding an exhibition titled Poster Art 150 – London Underground’s Greatest Designs. The most outstanding 150 examples (get it?!) of poster design have been selected from the museum’s impressive archive.

The 1920s – 1940s was a particularly fruitful period in the history of British commissioning posters, and London Underground led the pack with a poster programme that utilised the very best design talent of the day. Artists such as Abram Games, Edward McKnight Kauffer, Paul Nash, Charles Pears, and Fred Taylor created images that have since become iconic to the Underground brand.

Of all the poster designs however, it is the image of tightly compressed commuters by Fougasse in his 1944 poster Please pass along the platform, which most faithfully represents my daily experience of riding a tube in rush hour!

If you walk to work I don’t want to hear about it.

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