The London Tube and Its Graphic Legacy


Harry Beck’s Tube map, Edward Johnston’s typeface and the roundel symbol embrace the identity of London. They are landmarks in the history of graphic design, and the envy of many cities or public transport authorities.

Every aspect of TfL’s branding elements, from their use of typefaces, logos, down to stationery or even their corporate design standards themselves, is highly inspirational.

More broadly, the London Underground has a special feel about it, both familiar and exotic, modern and old-fashioned. It has been the subject of many books, some of which were published for the 150th anniversary of the Tube in 2013.


Here is a selection of books I liked, dealing with the history of the tube, design or trivia.

London Underground By Design
By Mark Ovenden
Publisher: Penguin

The Roundel: 100 Artists Remake a London Icon
By Tamsin Dillon, Claire Dobbin, Jonathan Glancey & Sally Shaw
Publisher: Art/Books

London Underground — Architecture, Design and History
By David Long
Publisher: The History Press

Underground — How The Tube Shaped London
By David Bownes, Oliver Green and Sam Mullins
Publisher: Allen Lane

The Story of London’s Underground
By John R. Day & John Reed
Capital Transport Publishing

The Little Book of the London Underground
By David Long
Publisher: The History Press.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *