• Roundelhero

    Liam Gillick: One Hundred and Ninety Two Feet (detail) (From THE ROUNDEL: 100 Artists Remake a London Icon. Published by Art on the Underground and Art / Books, 2012) Copyright © 2012 Liam Gillick

100 artists remake the iconic London Underground Roundel for excellent new book

Posted by Rob Alderson,

The London Underground map is often held up as one of the pinnacles of beautiful, accessible, urban graphic design but spare a thought for the Tube’s other ubiquitous visual symbol, the Roundel (the blue line bisecting the red circle to you and me). Long has it been overshadowed by its mappy cousin but maybe no more as a new book has challenged 100 artists to re-imagine the Roundel.

Originally created by calligrapher Edward Johnston and transport manager Frank Pick in 1908 to make station names stand out amid all the adverts on display, the Roundel has endured as an instantly recognisable London landmark. Spotting its neon throes offers blessed relief to weary punters trying to find their way home after an evening in an unfamiliar part of the city and while the new interpretations may not be quite ready to replace their famous starting point, the results are tremendously interesting.

Featuring the likes of Sir Peter Blake, Ryan Gander, Jeremy Deller, Gavin Turk, Susan Hillier and Richard Wentworth, the book is a respectful celebration of a design icon, full of imaginative reworkings of the symbol which has had an impact on transport systems from Shanghai to Salt Lake City.

The Roundel: 100 Artists Remake a London Icon published by Art on the Underground and Art / Books is launched next month.

  • Bob-and-roberta-smith_visit-leytonstonia

    Bob and Roberta Smith: Visit Leytonia (From THE ROUNDEL: 100 Artists Remake a London Icon. Published by Art on the Underground and Art / Books, 2012)

  • Doug-fishbone_untitled

    Doug Fishbone: Untitled (From THE ROUNDEL: 100 Artists Remake a London Icon. Published by Art on the Underground and Art / Books, 2012)

  • Jeremy-deller

    Jeremy Deller: Graham Hadingham, born 30th July 1908. London Underground employee – 8th February 1926 until 31st March 1974

  • Jim-isermann_untitled-(underground)

    Jim Isermann: untitled (From THE ROUNDEL: 100 Artists Remake a London Icon. Published by Art on the Underground and Art / Books, 2012)

  • Richard-wentworth_chinese-whispers-(underground)

    Richard Wentworth: Chinese Whispers (From THE ROUNDEL: 100 Artists Remake a London Icon. Published by Art on the Underground and Art / Books, 2012)

  • Sir-peter-blake_untitled

    Sir Peter Blake: Untitled (From THE ROUNDEL: 100 Artists Remake a London Icon. Published by Art on the Underground and Art / Books, 2012)

  • Torsten-lauschmann_balaclava-and-sweatband

    Torsten Lauschmann: Balaclava and Sweatband (From THE ROUNDEL: 100 Artists Remake a London Icon. Published by Art on the Underground and Art / Books, 2012)

  • John-stezaker_lost-image

    John Stezacker: Lost Image (From THE ROUNDEL: 100 Artists Remake a London Icon. Published by Art on the Underground and Art / Books, 2012)

  • Martin-boyce_playtime-underground

    Martin Boyce: Playtime (From THE ROUNDEL: 100 Artists Remake a London Icon. Published by Art on the Underground and Art / Books, 2012)

  • Olivia-plender_a-desire-to-have-the-best-of-both-worlds

    Olivia Plender: A Desire to Have The Best of Both Worlds (From THE ROUNDEL: 100 Artists Remake a London Icon. Published by Art on the Underground and Art / Books, 2012)

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Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.