Building on the London Underground roundel
Image from the Creative Review blog
In many ways, the London Underground roundel is London’s equivalent of the I ♥ NY logo. It’s synonymous with London. But it’s also a very functional symbol around the city, directing people to public transport.
1. Taking the logo and placing ‘London’ instead of ‘Underground’ is a logical step towards a universally recognisable logo for London. But it’s not a good solution – the TfL roundel is a signpost to bus stops, tube entrances and it has to remain that way. If it starts popping up all over London where it’s got nothing to do with transport, it’ll only confuse people.
2. The next step is to try and make it distinct from the TfL roundel but maintaining a visual link back to it. This version is more like the original 1907 roundel, before the counter was introduced in the red circle. Again, this is too close.
3. Removing the blue bar creates enough of a destination from the TfL roundel, but the red circle starts to look like the Japanese flag.
4. Switching the circle to blue solves this, but it makes quite a boring logo.
5. Moving London outside the circle and putting the counter back in brings the dynamism back.
6. Switching back from blue to red helps to create a stronger link back to the original, without looking so close it could be mistaken for TfL.
It’s a simple and memorable solution, but is it special enough for London?