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Friday, April 09, 2010

Design Excellence for the Masses - London Transport Museum Talk

On Tuesday 13th April 2010 the London Transport Museum will be celebrating two design heroes from the early 20th century in an illustrated talk. The hour long talk, "From the sublime to the ubiquitous" will be given by Oliver Green. It will focus on Frank Pick, the chief executive of London Transport in the 1930's and Ambrose Heal, who founded Heal's furniture store.

New Johnston font by Andrew Black
New Johnston Font photography by Andrew Black

Both were founder members of the Design and Industries Association & talk will explore how each applied the DIA's slogan "Nothing need be ugly" to all aspects of their work.

Green argues how this slogan went well beyond the promotion of their own companies and encouraged a new appreciation of the importance of design in everyday life. Frank Pick was given responsibility for London Underground's publicity in 1908 and commissioned its famous Johnston font. He asked Johnston for a font with 'the bold simplicity of the authentic lettering of the finest periods' while 'belonging unmistakably to the 20th century'.

Oliver Green's always a great speaker (I last saw him at the Transformed by Tube night) and this should be an interesting presentation. Tickets can be bought in advance here or reserved by calling 020 7565 7298. It starts at 18.30 at the London Transport Museum at Covent Garden Piazza and admissions charges are: Adults £8.00; senior citizens £6.00; students £4.00.

UPDATE - The London Transport Museum have very kindly offered a free pair of tickets for the talk. Just email me or leave your answer in the comments or @AnnieMole me on Twitter with the name of the nearest Tube station to Heal's flagship store on Tottenham Court Road. We'll announce the winner on Monday!


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