London Transport Museum's Late Debate: Designing the Tube - Maynard

London Transport Museum’s Late Debate: Designing the Tube

If London is famous for one thing (that isn’t the Queen) it would be its iconic transport network, the London Underground.

On a cold and dark Tuesday evening at the end of January, four of the Maynard team ventured out of Paddington to Covent Garden to attend London Transport Museum’s Late Debate: Designing the Tube.

Over the course of the evening we took advantage of all the museum had to offer including the Designology studio, where we weaved our very own moquette pattern. We also connected our journeys to work everyday using different coloured string in a giant mapping activity with the NLA.

After having a hard decision to make between the debates, we decided to attend the debate entitled “Off the Rails: Learning from the past and influencing the future”. The panel discussion was hosted by Mike Walton and Tim Dunn and featured Sam Mullins, Chief Executive and LTM Museum Director; Paul Priestman, Designer and Chairman of PriestmanGoode; David Lawrence, Kingston University professor and author; and Wallace Henning, reproducer of the British Rail Corporate Identity Manual.

A lively debate followed highlighting how designers faced challenges from increased passenger numbers as well as how accessibility across the network needs improving. It focused on the fundamental shift in society through an ageing demographic and longer passenger commuting times through the expansion of Greater London.

Many other issues where raised in the hour-long debate including the future of ticketing and the growing importance of the passenger’s end-to-end journey. These made us smile, as they form the central themes to some of our existing work in the transport sector!

One of the key learnings Maynard took away (maybe we are biased) is that London Underground is internationally recognisable through it’s iconic roundel, colour palette, typeface and its quirky traits. It’s fundamental that going forward TfL keep the same language and consistency through its brand and don’t let it be diluted like the once British Rail.

Thank you London Transport Museum for hosting an interesting evening!

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