Transport for London commissions new artwork

The Oyster, the electronic ticket card used on public transport in Greater London, gets a colourful update.

Andreas Neophytou
Andreas Neophytou

The London’s Tube map has become an iconic design since it was launched in 1933. The striking map that is recognised across the globe was the brainchild of Underground electrical draughtsman, Harry Beck. This year Transport for London (TfL) have announced that in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Underground, ten UK-based designers have been commissioned to create special designs for Oyster card holders, in association with the London Design Festival (LDF).

Since its inception, the LDF’s limited edition Oyster card holders have become one of the festival’s most sought after commissions. Past collaborators have included the cream of British design: Thomas Heatherwick, Tom Dixon and Established & Sons have all turned their hands to this most democratic of design statements.

Kristjana S Williams
Kristjana S Williams

Designers this year have been chosen from the hundreds of companies showing at designjunction (18-22 Sept), a key LDF event, where TfL will also be creating a pop up bar and restaurant – the Camden Town Bar.

Deborah Spencer, organiser of designjunction, says “we are very proud to be partnering TfL this year – especially as this is the 150th anniversary of the Underground. This is such a wonderful platform for all the designjunction designers and enables the London Design Festival and the cutting edge of UK design to
reach out to Londoners on their daily commute.”

James Joyce
James Joyce

The designers chosen for the special 150th Anniversary card holders, from across the disciplines of graphic and product design, include: Pearson Lloyd, James Joyce, Kate Moross, Andreas Neophytou, Noma Bar, BCMH, Krstjana S Williams and Mina Lima. The designs vary between graphic jokes including a play on the Johnston typeface by BCMH and a mouse in a roundel by Noma Bar. Kristjana S Williams has created a fantasy-scape of London’s railways whilst Mina Lima has looked to the Underground’s archives for inspiration.

The cards will be on sale at designjunction and from the TfL online shop www.tfl.gov.uk/shop and London Transport Museum shop. Single holders cost £6.99 and a set of ten costs £55.

Andrew Rae
Andrew Rae

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