It's not far to the new Earls Court, by Edward McKnight Kauffer, 1937
- Published by London Transport, 1937
- Printed by The Baynard Press,
- Format: Double royal
- Dimensions: Width: 635mm, Height: 1016mm
- Reference number: 1983/4/4908
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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A wide variety of exhibitions in London have been promoted by posters. They range from large annual events, such as the Motor Show at Olympia, to cattle and dairy shows at Royal Agricultural Hall. Exhibitions have also been held in Underground stations. From the late 1920s to the mid 1960s, a variety of exhibitions were held in the booking hall at Charing Cross (now Embankment). Since 2000, Platform for Art has also exhibited work at stations, particularly on their designated platform at Gloucester Road.
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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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Giving passengers useful information to help them on their journey has always been a major purpose of posters. The least successful are those that are difficult to read because they rely on too much text or have a confusing layout. To convey an important message quickly a poster should be concise and use a strong visual image but few words. Most London Transport posters are models of clarity but in the 1950s in particular the copywriter seemed to take precedence over the artist and the results often look as cluttered and wordy as Victorian posters with no illustrations had once done.
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