6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Will Appeal to Tube Enthusiasts and Design Lovers Alike,
This review is from: Frank Pick's London: Art, Design and the Modern City (Hardcover)
A very nicely produced and profusely illustrated book detailing the work of Frank Pick at the Underground Electric Railways of London (UERL) and London Transport. The book takes us chronologically through Pick’s career, and especially the long and very creative period when Pick was working for Albert Stanley, later Lord Ashfield, at UERL. The author’s approach is very straightforward and clear. The book describes Pick’s detailed approach in using art, design and well executed work to try to realise a vision of a properly co-ordinated transport structure for London that would also contribute to the orderly growth and development of the capital. His aim was no less than for UERL to set the pace in design and development and enhance the very city landscape itself in the process.
The book details the links Pick made with the art colleges and the wide variety of artists and designers (male and female) he employed to produce posters, pamphlets and the new ‘Underground Sans’ typeface created by Edward Johnston. Many posters are illustrated. As Pick assumed greater responsibilities in the management of UERL his work on station design with the architect Charles Holden is described culminating in the ground-breaking stations on the Morden extension (now the Northern Line) into south London and the head office at 55 Broadway in 1929. Similar engineering and design improvements we pursued in bus manufacture at AEC (Associated Equipment Company), also now part of UERL.
Pick’s career came to a sad end when he disagreed with the approach being taken by the war-time Railway Executive Committee and resigned in April 1940, only to die a rather depressed man in November 1941.
The author briefly describes the years of drift and decline in London Transport under state control between 1945 and the 1990s but ends on an optimistic note with the opening of the Jubilee Line extension and the new leadership being given by London’s elected mayors, Livingstone and Johnson.
A very nice book for tube enthusiasts and those interested in good commercial art and design alike.