Most Londoners spend more time commuting than they do taking lunch breaks, so it’s no wonder we’re all so obsessed with Transport for London, its systems, its history, its future and the many designs that have become London’s own heraldry. The London Transport Museum celebrates these things all year round, but ‘Designology’ is travel fandom in overdrive. It’s a jam-packed and surprisingly eclectic collection of ticket machines, bus stops, uniforms, fabric swatches and plenty more paraphernalia designed to help us get around.
Journeying through the displays I was a tad overwhelmed by the choppy snippets of information. Ironic, given the exhibition is mainly about branding and signposting. It could do with fewer labels and more depth. The show is at its best when it reveals hidden secrets: a photograph of the full-scale model of Piccadilly Circus station that was built to test the signs, the striking designs that nearly became tiles in Finsbury Park station, the working sketches that became the moquette pattern that will be used for the seats on Crossrail. Those who are still getting used to the Oyster Card may find ‘Designology’ a bit much, but if you’ve been through a decade of travelcards this is glorious geekery.