Posters

Poster; Power - the nerve centre of London's Underground, by Edward McKnight Kauffer, 1931
Modernist painting of a fist appearing from a roundel shape within a black circle, above the fist, which is the central focus, is an illustration of a red power station Lightning bolt shapes connects the fist to the word UNDERGROUND.
Simple name : Poster
Date : 1931
Collection : Posters
Object location : Acton Depot
Reference number : 1983/4/2996
Size : H 1016mm, W 635mm
Associated person : Edward McKnight Kauffer
Print code : 17.1500. 1/31
Reproduced in : Poster Art 150: London Underground's Greatest Designs p.128
Publisher : Underground Electric Railway Company Ltd : 1931
Printer : Vincent Brooks, Day & Son Ltd : 1931
Mode : Tube, Sub-surface railways
Descriptive size : Double royal
Content text : POWER THE NERVE CENTRE OF LONDON'S UNDERGROUND
Additional information : This striking poster was commissioned by the Underground Electric Railway Company in 1931. The modern design, by the prolific American artist Edward McKnight Kauffer, underlines the impact electric rail travel was having on urban life in the 1930s. The bold image unites man and machine as the powerful driving forces behind London's Underground. As well as the technological progression of the time, this poster illustrates contemporary developments in art and design. Kauffer's move away from the Underground's Johnston typeface suggests his awareness of typographical styles pioneered by the Bauhaus School in Germany. The geometric design suggests the influence of Futurism and the prevalent Art Deco style.
Title : Power - the nerve centre of London's Underground
Colour : Black
Record completeness :
Record 100% complete

Related item

By 1914 the Underground Group ran most of the Tube lines, three tram systems and the main London bus company, the LGOC. The posters publicise all these transport modes. Outside the Underground Group were the Metropolitan Railway and London County Council (LCC) Tramways, which ran separate poster campaigns. All these companies were merged into London Transport (LT) in 1933. The four main line railway companies also used posters to promote their London suburban services. Transport for London (TfL) replaced LT in 2000 with wider responsibility including taxis, streets, river services and some overground rail.
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Art deco : Art Deco, which flourished in the 1920s and 1930s, is a style more associated with the decorative arts than fine art. At its peak, the style was referred to as 'art moderne', or simply 'modernistic'. The term 'Art Deco' was adopted in the mid-1960s, when the style was re-evaluated. Characterised by sleek, stylised form, simplicity of line, geometric patterns, abstract shapes and sweeping curves, the style lent itself perfectly to modern poster design.
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Double royal : Double royal has been the standard poster size used by the Underground since 1908. This 40 x 25 inch format has been used almost exclusively by railway companies.
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