Keeping the capital on the move

During a visit to London, I once again marvelled at how much use we got out of the public transport system - something we rarely do back at home.

By Guy Cookson
Monday, 27th January 2020, 5:00 pm

We took the tube from our base in Bethnal Green, caught the bus from Borough Market, and hopped on a clipper down the river from Westminster to Bankside - all provided by Transport for London (TfL).

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Along the way we were guided by what remains one of the best visual identity systems in the world, from the beautiful bar and circle roundel logo, individual station identities, clever colour-coded wayfinding and - of course - the iconic tube map, originally designed by Harry Beck in the early 1930s (which is not really a map at all, but rather a diagram).

There is a long and rich history of brilliant ad campaigns running across the network that must clearly communicate important information to busy travellers, while remaining visually distinct from the surrounding commercial messages from advertisers. There is a striking series of posters currently in use, intended to raise awareness of safety. They employ visually arresting illustrations and typography to nudge rather than preach. TfL is also running a particularly good ad campaign at the moment which plays on its long established tagline “every journey matters.” The campaign features Londoners embarking on a variety of different journeys and the message varies accordingly.

“Every journey matters” becomes “every gig matters”, “every discovery matters” and so on. It is a simple but impactful campaign which captures the quirky diversity of London life - and shows how so much daily activity is underpinned by public transport.“This campaign celebrates how TfL places the wants and needs of Londoners at the very heart of their business,” explains Simon Learman, creative director at VCCP, the agency behind the campaign. “By recognising ‘What matters’, it’s a heartfelt testament to the special relationship that exists between TfL and its diverse, idiosyncratic customer base, whilst illustrating the many wonderful ways they keep our amazing city moving.”