The London Transport Collection, Tom Eckersley, 1975
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The bold simplicity and timeless quality of this week’s poster perfectly describes the appeal of steam locomotion. Created in 1975 by the highly acclaimed graphic artist Tom Eckersley, this poster promoted the London Transport collection of historic vehicles, posters, signs and tickets before it was moved to its current location at Covent Garden. The collage on which the design was based is now part of the Museum’s collection of over 700 original poster artworks.
Eckersley frequently used a limited range of strong colours to create designs that were simple to read, appealing directly and effectively to a wide audience. Eckersley developed this technique over a long and successful career as a practitioner and teacher. He graduated from Salford School of Art in 1934 and received his first commission from London Transport in 1935. During WWII he worked as a cartographer for the RAF and also created posters for the Ministry of Information. He was awarded an OBE in 1949 for services to British poster design and went on to create many wonderful posters, not only for London Transport but other significant patrons such as Shell and the BBC.
His skill in translating complex ideas and images into bold graphic elements is manifest in much of his early work as well as his deceptively simple collage-based designs of the seventies and eighties. He died just two years after creating his last poster for London Transport in 1995, having worked with the organisation for nearly 60 years.
What are you doing this weekend?
If this poster has inspired you to see steam in action, then why not join us for our annual spring Open Weekend at the Museum Depot in Acton. The weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday is looking good and the recently renovated Metropolitan Steam locomotive No.1 will be on show and in steam to celebrate the 150th anniversary of London Underground.
Model displays will feature miniatures of the Met No.1, and a Lego representation of Baker Street in 1863. With steam rides on the Acton Miniature Railway, film screenings, hands on workshops, talks, and book signings as well there’s plenty going on down the depot. Come and join the fun!
As part of the exhibition, the Siemens Poster Vote seeks to find out what your favourite poster is.