British Rail Designed 1948-97
PUBLISHED 10 NOVEMBER 2016
British Rail Designed 1948-97 is about the design successes, and failures, of Britain's most extensive state-sponsored industry. It is a story of people and ideas, movement and design, speed and colour. It is a comprehensive study of the crafting, operation and marketing of a national transport system, by which four steam-powered empires were transformed into a modern enterprise. Moving railway aesthetics from the consequences of engineering decisions, to an expression of the purpose and dculture of a nation, British railway design has led world design trends. It has produced an extraordinary legacy of two- and three- dimensional design icons, and is evident today in good, clear communication and product design, from the international Eurostar network to contemporary revivals of letter forms conceived in the early 1960s. With railways once again topical, as Crossrail, Crossrail 2 the HS2 network and other projects serve to develop and regenerate regions, it is timely to recognise the considerable achievement of British Rail design.
David Lawrence writes about, curates and photographs design, architecture and culture. He is the editor of Moving Metropolis: A History of London's Transport since 1800 (2015) and OMNIBUS: A Social History of the London Bus (2014); author of A Logo for London (2013), Food on the Move: the Extraordinary World of the Motorway Service Area (2010), Bright Underground Spaces (2008) and Underground Architecture (1994). David is an associate professor at a London university, and Research Fellow and Curator at the London Transport Museum.