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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good book for the Tube
If you've ever taken the Tube in London, this book will engross you from the second you pick it up! It seems to be written from an incredibly accessible perspective: to inform both the lay person with the most casual interest through to those with some knowledge of the system, and the author claims even the experts will find something new in this. There is even a degree...
Published 23 months ago by Chris Paris

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much for one book
Mark Ovenden has done a great job of cramming the entire 150 years of London Underground's history into this book, but that's where the problem lies: it is crammed in with the result that the pictures are too small and the text is too small.

The whole history is covered but there's no depth (no pun intended) and the feeling is that something's missing: the...
Published 19 months ago by Wob


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4.0 out of 5 stars Part design, part history, 29 May 2013
By 
AR (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: London Underground By Design (Paperback)
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The London Underground has been in operation for 150 years; the world's first urban subway, its opening was a great achievement in both design and architecture.

Mark Ovenden's book is an in-depth exploration of the underground: part design study, part historical record.

It begins with description and analysis of Victorian architecture, before moving through the eras, highlighting the significant design elements of each period alongside advances in technology. A fascinating history, the book is full of anecdotes, not only about the underground itself but the people who played a part in shaping it into the transport system we have today.

As well as examining the underground itself, the book also focuses on the unique graphic design elements that have been used in signage, logos, posters and maps. Numerous photographs and images flood the pages of the book; it includes maps, plans and signs, collections of posters and even examples of typography from the various historical periods.

This is certainly a fascinating book, one that is easy to dip in and out of - simply flick through and wait for something to catch your eye. Alternatively, it is a precise and thoroughly researched read that touches on all the significant aspects of the underground's story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating book for anyone interested in urban transport & design., 15 May 2013
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Coffee & Vanilla "Margot" (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: London Underground By Design (Paperback)
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A wonderful work taking you through the history of the London underground through a design perspective.

You're easily able to enjoy this book by leafing through the pages and absorbing the images or you can take the time to read about the people behind the designs. Notable characters like Charles Holden and numerous unheralded artists, illustrators, and architects that make the London Underground what it is today.

For those like me who for many years use the lines, I was fascinated by the variety in the design of the underground network. I truly thought most of the underground looked like Jubilee / Central / Victoria lines. Now I am of the mind to visit more of the network.

Chock full of rare photographs, posters and sketches this book is captivating and I'd recommended for anyone interested in urban transport & design.
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4.0 out of 5 stars There are two books here, 26 Feb 2013
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Polly Potter (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: London Underground By Design (Paperback)
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I could not put this down. However, I was left feeling that there should have been two books here. One would be a high end and lavishly illustrated coffee table book to grace the drawing rooms of London. The other would be an academic treatise on design, publicity and marketing of a new technology throughout a tumultuous period of history.

As it is, this work tries to be both. The contents are amazing, it all appears to be very well researched, and there is so much I didn't know. (This is the sort of book you keep breaking off from to start conversations with "Gosh, did you know ..." and annoying family members ... be warned!)

Apart from a big identity problem, my main criticism is that the book is physically too small. The text and many illustrations feel far too cramped. Which is ironic in a work which is all about design. I was left moving round the house trying to find the best light to read by, which isn't a problem I normally have. The book should perhaps come equipped with a handy Fresnel lens.

I loved the way the story unfolds (though I would lose the self referencing, which can irritate) and appreciated the thumbnail sketches of the people who have played their part in the history of London's Tube development. I lived and worked in London 30 years ago, and am now contemplating a short break spent exploring some of the tube network so intrigued am I by Mark Ovenden's work. Come to think of it, the size of the volume means it is at least easily transported on such a journey!

All in all an engaging, fascinating and highly informative reference book. Highly recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much for one book, 30 May 2013
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This review is from: London Underground By Design (Paperback)
Mark Ovenden has done a great job of cramming the entire 150 years of London Underground's history into this book, but that's where the problem lies: it is crammed in with the result that the pictures are too small and the text is too small.

The whole history is covered but there's no depth (no pun intended) and the feeling is that something's missing: the passion for the subject seems to have been lost as a result. Perhaps if this had been a two volume edition, it would have helped by allowing for larger photos and text and more space to expand on the information.

As a historical timeline, it is excellent, but as a read it can be a little on the heavy side.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nicely produced, but a bit slight, 19 Feb 2013
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This review is from: London Underground By Design (Paperback)
If I am totally honest, I found this book a little disappointing. The ground it covers is fairly familiar and the author's treatment seemed to me a bit sketchy at times and the illustrations not all that well chosen. There is a lot to get into just one volume, I admit, but the total effect of this, for me, was a bit bland
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice book, 30 Dec 2013
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This review is from: London Underground By Design (Paperback)
The book is really interesting and analyses in depth the growth of the London tube in the last century till nowadays.
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London Underground By Design
London Underground By Design by Mark Ovenden (Paperback - 18 Jan 2013)
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