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TfL update their iconic typeface

Johnston 100 and the Designology Exhibition at the London Transport Museum

In late 2015, 400 was appointed as one of the select few agencies to work with TfL on their graphic design roster to deliver a wide-range of customer-facing and internal communications.

Working with an organisation with such an iconic brand and rich history of design is a real privilege so we were thrilled when they announced that they would be releasing an update to the Johnston typeface that has served them so well over the years.

The new version, named Johnston 100 to celebrate the font’s centenary, has a number of refined characters and has been brought up-to-date with the introduction of @ and # symbols to accommodate modern usage and audiences. They have also introduced two new weights to better reflects TfL’s role in the digital age. If you’re a type geek, or just interested, TfL have made a short film to introduce the font.

Watch the video below.

As well as the unveiling of the restyled typeface, the London Transport Museum are hosting the ‘Designology’ exhibition that looks at the art and aesthetic of the functional and familiar, taking in everything from the design of bus stop signs to the pattern design for the underground seating. From the exhibition, one standout piece for us was how, to this day, they continue to produce the destination signs on London buses by screen-printing, rather than opting for a more modern method of printing.

Johnston100 will be rolled out from July onwards. Keep an eye out for it on printed materials, such as Tube maps and posters (limited edition prints are available to buy from the London Transport Museum shop). Over time, the typeface will be used across TfL’s trains and station signage, including on London’s new Crossrail Elizabeth line when it opens in 2018.