Posters

Poster; Travels in time on your doorstep, by Clifford Ellis and Rosemary Ellis, 1937
Simple name : Poster
Date : 1937
Collection : Posters
Object location : Covent Garden
Reference number : 1983/4/4963
Size : H 1016mm, W 635mm
Print code : 37.4951.1750
Publisher : London Transport : 1937
Printer : Curwen Press
Descriptive size : Double royal
Content text : Travels in time on your doorstep
Title : Travels in time on your doorstep
Colour : Light Blue,Brown
Printed by : Curwen Press
Record completeness :
Record 85% complete

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The range of entertainment on offer in London provided countless vibrant and enticing subjects for transport posters. Rather than advertising specific venues or events, posters usually promoted general activities such as shopping or going to the theatre. Many aimed to encourage travel to the city in the evenings and at weekends. Others encouraged regular commuters to stay in the city after work, rather than travelling home at rush hour. In the 1930s, posters were also issued with listings of specific events scheduled for that week.
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London Transport posters have promoted travel to almost all of the capital's many museums and galleries. Some advertised the institutions themselves, whilst others promoted special exhibitions. The exotic and eclectic collections offered the poster artist inexhaustible subject matter. Unlike other London attractions, museums and galleries could be represented by subjects and imagery not normally associated with the city, ranging from dinosaurs to ancient Egyptian sculpture.
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From its first pictorial poster in 1908, the Underground and then London Transport have promoted sightseeing in the capital. Posters encouraged visitors and Londoners alike to either take a conducted tour or to explore the city themselves. Well known landmarks such as Nelson's Column and Buckingham Palace featured the most frequently, although lesser known places of interest were also publicised. Many posters focused on a specific sight, others simply encouraged visitors to 'See London by coach' or 'See London in summer'. Green line coach and country bus services allowed sightseeing to extend beyond the city.
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Many sightseeing destinations in London have been promoted for their historic or literary associations. Posters depicted famous figures connected with towns or buildings as a way of encouraging passengers to visit them. These ranged from former Kings and Queens being used to promote associated royal palaces, to the infamous highwayman Dick Turpin being used to encourage travel to Hounslow Heath.
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Surrealism : The use of Surrealist imagery in posters is uncommon. Frank Pick believed Surrealism to obscure the clarity of a poster's message. However, some dreamlike imagery, associated with the Surrealist aesthetic, can be found in Underground poster designs from the last 100 years.
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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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