A Logo for London, by David Lawrence


A Logo for London by David Lawrence and published by Laurence King in October 2013 celebrates one of the most recognisable and iconic symbols in transport history.

Beautifully illustrated with vintage posters, photographs, and other graphic material from the London Transport Museum archives, the book features previously unpublished inventive uses of the bar and circle.

Away from transportation, the simplicity of a bar and circle and the red and blue colours have been attractive to commerce, and many brands have echoed the London Transport symbol, deliberately or otherwise. Cars were produced in Japan under the Datsun brand name from 1932-3; the company later changed its worldwide car marque to Nissan. Its device is based on the Japanese flag, with its red solar disc. Martini Vermouth, created by Martini & Rossi in Turin, Italy, registered their bar and ball trademark in 1929, reproducing it in a variety of colours according to product. The red, white and blue variety of the Martini logo is now also associated with sponsorship of motor racing. The British Robbialac Paint Company established a brand in India which used a direct copy of the red-and-blue bulls-eye. In west London, Job’s Dairy suppliers used the symbol in the 1930s, while a bar-and-circle motif marked publicity issued by the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA).

There are still trademarks in Greece which directly resemble the red-and-blue Underground logo; one for FAGE (founded 1926) can be seen on Total dairy products in food shops around the world.