The other weekend I visited the London Transport Museum with Jack and Bobbins. I haven’t seen Bobbins for almost a year now (wow!), so it was really nice to catch up and geek out at the posters, typography and signs. (P.S. I am making a vlog, but it’s not quite ready yet so I’ll insert that here when it’s finished!)
Considering I’ve lived in London for almost 2 years now, I’m surprised that I haven’t been to the London Transport Museum sooner because I love all of the underground memorabilia. But anyway, finally I put it right:
Entering the museum via a lift, you’re transported back to the 1800s where horse and cart was the most popular way to travel (other than walking, obviously). There are a few of the old style, beautifully painted carriages which you can sit in and have a chat with an old fellow reading a newspaper…
As a type nerd I was pretty in my element – so many old signs from the roads, buses and eventually the trains. Then as we moved down a floor, we hit the design jackpot and Bobbins & I probably spent about half an hour just coo-ing over all of the posters and nice printed things (tickets, leaflets etc). It was really nice to see the progression of design, with older style posters displayed next to more modern posters. What we noticed is that the newer posters being designed now try to replicate the older style posters, creating classic design with a twist.
The old style typography continued, on these old style buses which almost look like little models…
… but they’re definitely actual size. I couldn’t resist doing my cheesiest pose on the end of the bus, although I was going for more Spice World, rather than West End! I’ll have to work on that with the new hop on-hop off routemasters.
One thing I will say is that I was impressed how the museum had incorporated technology into the exhibits. There were interactive screens, projections and sounds which all added to the experience, rather than over shadowed it.
In one area there was so much signage and typography: this was my favourite section. From the development of the official typeface, to the variations in tube map and a lot of other underground memorabilia.
I’ll admit, at first I was worried that I’d be surrounded by train fanatics ( insert creepy ‘Ooooh trains’ impression here), but actually the museum is really cool. And then theres the gift shop – I dare you to try and leave without buying something!
But anyway, what a lovely day out. It is pricey (£16 for an adult ticket), however your ticket is valid for a year, so I can go back and look at the nice typography anytime I like now until November 2016! They have a gallery space within the museum which changes (at the moment it is displaying TFL night themed posters, but it was really dark and I couldn’t get a good photo) so you’ll want to go back more than once!
As I mentioned earlier, I did vlog the trip, so check back for that soon 🙂 In the meantime, you can find a few other vlogs on my Youtube Channel.
So, meet you on the platform (at the museum)? Have you been to the London Transport Museum? If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Don’t miss the train/bus…