Poster; London Transport, by Man Ray, 1938
Black and white pair poster with Saturn and a roundel against the backdrop of a dark night’s sky.
Simple name : Poster
Date : 1938
Collection : Posters
Object location : Acton Depot
Reference number : 1983/4/5186
Size : H 1008mm, W 620mm
Associated person : Man Ray
Print code : 38.2585g,1,375
Reproduced in : Poster Art 150: London Underground's Greatest Designs p.142
Publisher : London Transport : 1938
Printer : Waterlow & Sons Ltd : 1938
Descriptive size : Double royal
Content text : LONDON TRANSPORT -
Additional information : This London Transport poster was designed by the internationally renowned Surrealist artist Man Ray. In the 1920s and 30s, Man Ray experimented with photographic techniques. By placing objects directly on photographic paper and exposing them to light, he was able to produce camera-less prints called photograms. This poster was made by this process. Much of Man Ray's work depended on the chance effects of juxtaposing two different objects. This image presents a planet and London Transport's logo, the two essentially different elements sharing a similar appearance. Here with a three dimensional appearance against the night's sky, the roundel logo takes on a new monumental status.
Title : London Transport
Colour : Black
Printed by : Waterlow & Sons Ltd
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Record completeness :
Record 100% complete

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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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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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