Thursday, 5 January 2012

Painting by Numbers at the London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum has a new Poster Parade on display from tomorrow.

The theme is Painting By Numbers, and the posters featured (just 20 of the possible 500 the museum have in the archive) are all what we'd now call "infographics".

The museum refers to the posters as "data visualisation", and the works on show from the 1920s and 1930s onwards.

They're also very beautiful pieces of design.

Look at this dude's shoes! And I love the detail; the little men working to get those wheels moving along the tracks...

Like the poor guys harvesting "rubber" in this one:
Figures for 1923 by Charles Shepard (1924)
That's 1,134,000,000 passengers dealt with by the 1920s version of TfL. Impressive. Although all of the said passengers seem to be the same very smart man in a coat and hat (See the previous picture!)

And this one, simply called "Speed" is from a decade earlier, but is so fantastic in terms of getting the message across. (I wonder what the average speed of a London bus is today...)

Speed by Alfred Leete (1915)
Again, there are gorgeous details: the monkey travelling at 2mph, the wonderful silhouetted figure of the lady on the same row, the dog racing ahead of that car travelling at 12mph...

And here's a really 60s effort from Heinz Zinram. That's a more recognisable London Transport kind of font right there...
These Vehicles are Carrying 69 People, by Heinz Zinram, photographer (1965)
The exhibition's on at LTM from tomorrow until 18 March. The display complements the museum's current exhibition Sense and the City. Entrance to the museum costs 13.50 (adults) and £10 (concessions), which allows unlimited admission for 12 months. Admission is free for kids under 16. Visit for more info.

Here's my original post on londonist.

1 comment:

  1. You may not think a visit to the London Transport Museum sounds fascinating, but there's plenty of fascinating things there to catch your attention.

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