The power of old advertising as a way to discover the evolution of pop-culture: The London Underground case study

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I am a big fan of old advertising. Looking at work from brands who have a storied history is like walking through a museum of pop-culture. The styles, messages, colors, themes all hint at what was important to people at a specific time, what culturally and aesthetically resonated. There are a handful of Brands that have a long history and have been active advertisers across their years. Examples include Coca-Cola, Bacardi, etc.

This year, the London Underground (or the Tube as it is more readily called) is celebrating its 150th birthday and has begun to merchandize some of the many iconic aspects of its life to date. Its posters is one such aspect. If you think about it, public transportation has to communicate via poster for some basic information: where to go, costs, available destinations, and so forth. The Underground has always prided itself on engineering and design prowess. As such, its “collateral” reflected this important part of its DNA. As I started to dig into the work across the decades, I was absolutely floored at the immense creativity and beauty of its works.

Not only does their art bring to life the communication objectives sought, they demonstrate a pride in the system, an admiration of the current culture, and an excitement of the lives that it (the Tube) helps make more enjoyable. Have a look at the work and you’ll see what I mean.

One comment on “The power of old advertising as a way to discover the evolution of pop-culture: The London Underground case study

  1. Stuart Marsden June 17, 2014 12:27 pm

    I’m a great collector of London underground posters, they are so beautifully designed and still relevant today in our digital world. They have stood the test of time and are still well sort after. Thanks for sharing the wonderful posters. Kindest regards Stuart

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