They call it the Roundel, we call it the iconic London Underground (subway) logo. It's been around for more than 100 years and it is instantly recognizable."The Roundel: 100 Artists Remake a London Icon", is an affectionate mix of realistic and impressionistic ideas in painting, drawing, print and sculpture.
The original "bar and the circle" was introduced in 1908 to highlight the subway station names and stand out amidst the clutter of other signs. The unique font was developed by the famous calligrapher Edward Johnston and remains in use to this day. He wanted it to have "the bold simplicity of the authentic lettering of the finest periods of history yet belong unmistakably to the 20th century".
The lettering was simple, uncluttered and revolutionary in typeface design. The final redesign took place in the 1920's and the "bullseye" was rechristened the Roundel.
Created by a transport manager and a calligrapher, they wanted to achieve a balance between order and freedom, the classical age and modernity. In a time when we are besieged by mediocre, and meaningless corporate logos, the Roundel continues to shine as a symbol of efficiency, modernity and intelligence.
This is a memorial to ghost stations; stations that have been closed down hence subway cars don't stop there any longer.
The Roundel and the umbrella share the image of circularity and linearity. It is particularly apt since umbrellas are one of the main things lost on the subway.