I’ve always been a fan of street signs, and wherever I go I take snapshots of what’s around me. It interests me how different towns and cities put their own individual stamp on their signage.
One day after reading an article about monopoly pub crawls, it triggered an idea to create a piece of artwork combining all the locations on the board. I planned out the best routes to get to each street, and it took three trips into London to get the job done. Apart from three locations, every street/station is within the Circle Line, the exceptions being, Marylebone Station, Old Kent Road and Whitechapel Road.
London is great for photography due to its diverse mix of heritage and cutting edge design. The diversity of design is mirrored in the signage, many streets using different signs from different eras. Westminster has possibly the most recognisable street sign design, its modern plaque design was created by Design Research Unit in 1967, headed by design guru Sir Misha Black. The selected used is Univers Bold Condensed, a great mix of legibility and style. I’m particularly fond of the typeface used on Great Marlborough Street, (pre standardisation) as it has great character, especially the diagonal terminals on the ‘G’ and ‘S’. However, I do feel that due to its ultra condensed weight it suffers from poor readability compared to the revised design.
Another iconic piece of London design is Edward Johnston’s Johnston Sans typeface, which was created for the London underground (you will see this used on the King’s Cross and Liverpool Street photos). The typeface was commissioned in 1913 to strengthen the London Underground’s corporate identity. Johnston Sans is still used today, making it one of the world’s most enduring examples of corporate branding.
Overall I’m pretty happy with the final design,I really enjoyed the process, and learning new things about the capital. If anything it was a good excuse to visit new parts of London which I’d never previously seen.