New Johnston Typographic Guidelines

While talking to a tutor about attending an upcoming talk about the history of the Johnston typeface, a member of staff overheard my (okay, I’ll admit it) enthusiasm and popped his head around the studio door. Having worked on the TFL branding in the past, he kindly offered and dashed off to fetch some of the original material for the New Johnston typographic guidelines, distributed in 1988. [GD’ers at UCA Maidstone: ask Frank!]

A fantastic coincidence! I thought I’d share it given its relevance and gorgeously iconic London design.

The Sign Design Society: The history of the Johnston typeface

A talk on Edward Johnston’s Underground Lettering – a century of influence on signs and identity by Mike Ashworth.

Nearly a century has passed since the commissioning in 1916 by the London Underground group of the Johnston typeface. With this famous ‘sans’ lettering still in use by Transport for London and indeed with it being used as the basis for much of the signage for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, this illustrated talk will take a look back at the introduction of Johnston to the capital’s transport network and the role it has played in the evolution of the corporate identity of the Underground and other London transport modes.

Mike Ashworth is Design & Heritage Manager at London Underground and is responsible for customer-facing design of stations and trains. Previously a curator at the London Transport Museum, Mike has worked for the company for twenty years.


The Gallery, 75 Cowcross Street, Farringdon, London, EC1M 6EL

This April talk is being held by the Sight Design Society, whose student membership I’m happy to say I now possess. At £15 for this talk alone and members-free entry to the events, a £25 membership fee for the whole year was an easy decision to make!

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