• Add to Collection
  • About


    Lettering in the environment
London Undergound lettering and architecture
Sign, Earls Court. Rondel, Whitechaple (?)
Typeface design, Edward Jonhtson
The typeface was commissioned in 1913 by Frank Pick, Commercial Manager of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (also known as 'The Underground Group'), as part of his plan to strengthen the company's corporate identity, and introduced in 1916. Pick specified to Johnston that he wanted a typeface that would ensure that the Underground Group's posters would not be mistaken for advertisements; it should have "the bold simplicity of the authentic lettering of the finest periods" and belong "unmistakably to the twentieth century".[3] In 1933, The Underground Group was absorbed by the London Passenger Transport Board and the typeface was adopted as part of the London Transport brand.
The font family was originally called Underground. It became known as Johnston's Railway Type, and later simply Johnston. It comes with two weights, heavy and ordinary. Heavy does not contain lower-case letters.
South Kensington Station,1868, South Kensington London 
Engineer John Fowler. Arcaded station entrance was opened to a design by George Sherrin.
Covent Garden Station, Covent Garden,London 
The street level station building and platform tiling was designed by Leslie Green.
Strand Station, 1905, Aldwych, Westminster, London 
Architect, Leslie Green. The station is no longer in use except as a film location.