Do your shopping early; Christmas, by Fougasse, 1936
- Published by London Transport, 1936
- Format: Panel poster
- Stylistic approach: Cartoon
- Dimensions: Width: 318mm, Height: 255mm
- Reference number: 1983/4/9926
The range of entertainment on offer in London provided countless vibrant and enticing subjects for transport posters. Rather than advertising specific venues or events, posters usually promoted general activities such as shopping or going to the theatre. Many aimed to encourage travel to the city in the evenings and at weekends. Others encouraged regular commuters to stay in the city after work, rather than travelling home at rush hour. In the 1930s, posters were also issued with listings of specific events scheduled for that week.
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Some of the Underground's most iconic posters promote shopping. Many reminded the public of seasonal events, such as the winter or summer sales. Others encouraged shopping trends, such as travelling at off-peak times or shopping early for Christmas. These posters were predominantly aimed at women. Although the West End and Kensington were always the principal shopping districts, a small number of destinations outside central London were promoted for their shops.
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London's calendar has always been full of public events. These range from large scale annual events and one-off festivals, for which thousands of Londoners take to the streets, to smaller exhibitions held at a variety of specific venues. Transport companies have always taken the opportunity to promote travel to such events through their posters. On public holidays, when there were no scheduled events to promote, posters encouraged Londoners to travel out into the countryside or to explore the city.
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Public holidays meant that less people were commuting. Keen to fill empty seats on buses, trams and the Underground, London Transport used posters to promote the opportunity for leisure travel. Every Easter, Whitsun and August Bank holiday the public were encouraged to take outings to London's surrounding countryside, towns and villages or to explore the delights of the city. At Christmas many posters promoted shopping, while others simply offered their passengers festive greetings.
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