General joy, by Vera Willoughby, 1928
- Published by Underground Electric Railways Company Ltd, 1928
- Printed by Dangerfield Printing Company Ltd,
- Format: Double royal
- Dimensions: Width: 635mm, Height: 1016mm
- Reference number: 1983/4/2524
Beyond the city
Leisure travel into the area now known as Greater London (and beyond) was promoted to increase revenue during off-peak periods. For similar commercial reasons, commuters were encouraged to live further out from the city in the new suburbs.
Posters advertising days out by tube, bus or tram, were prominently displayed at station entrances and on the vehicles themselves. They include some of the most attractive and evocative posters produced by the Underground/London Transport.
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Posters advertising days out by bus, tram and tube were originally printed to fill empty advertising space. They soon became important in their own right as a way of filling empty seats outside rush hour.
Trips to the country by Green Line coaches or tube were particularly popular, with attractive publicity promoting different seasons of the year.These posters played an important part in establishing the reputations of artists such as Edward McKnight Kauffer and Walter Spradbery.
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London's transport system
By 1914 the Underground Group ran most of the Tube lines, three tram systems and the main London bus company, the LGOC. The posters publicise all these transport modes. Outside the Underground Group were the Metropolitan Railway and London County Council (LCC) Tramways, which ran separate poster campaigns. All these companies were merged into London Transport (LT) in 1933. The four main line railway companies also used posters to promote their London suburban services. Transport for London (TfL) replaced LT in 2000 with wider responsibility including taxis, streets, river services and some overground rail.
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Most London Transport posters illustrate the destination rather than the journey, for obvious reasons. Featuring the mode of transport, whether bus, train or tram, offers less imaginative scope to the artist and has less appeal to the majority of customers other than enthusiasts. With a few exceptions, the posters where road vehicles or railway rolling stock dominate tend to be more literal and lack artistic creativity. The best often make good use of humour and photographic images manipulated into surreal juxtaposition.
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