Edward Johnston, the son of Scottish settlers, was born in 1872 on their remote ranch in the province of San José, Uruguay. The family returned to England when Johnston was three years old.
In 1913, Johnston met Frank Pick, Commercial Manager of the London Underground Group. This meeting ultimately resulted in the commissioning of Johnston’s Standard Block Lettering for the Underground and the London Underground ‘bullseye’ symbol.
At the turn of 1916-17 Pick asked Johnston to redesign the trademarks for the Underground Group including the bullseye logo that Pick had first initiated in 1908. Johnston refined this to the now familiar branding of the bar and circle we still see today, which is recognised the world over.
Over 100 years, the roundel has become the unifying symbol for London’s transport services, and is widely recognised as a London icon.
- Edward Johnston, the man behind London’s lettering, on London Transport Museum
- Symbol of life in modern London, on guardian.co.uk
- 100 years of the roundel, on London Transport Museum
- 100 Years of the Roundel, on CR Blog
- Roundel, on Wikipedia
- 100 artists celebrate 100 years of Tube logo, on Transport for London