Poster of the Week #16

Alphabet, by unknown artist, 1940

This week’s poster is from 1940 and shows the instantly recognisable Johnston typeface. This was designed by Edward Johnston and has been used all over the Underground since 1917.  You’ll have seen it on lots of posters and signage. On posters it was usually added to the design at the printing stage.  The typeface was redesigned in 1979 by Eiichi Kono at Banks & Miles, tweaking it to bring it up to date as New Johnston, which is still used by London Underground today. This clear, iconic font has stood the test of time and become a design classic.

I wonder what Edward Johnston would have thought about a variation of his font being printed on napkins, cushions and tea cosies nearly 100 years later!

Why do you think this font works so well?

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