Parisine: Paris = Johnston: London (Parisine typeface by Jean Francois Porchez)

The Beauty of Transport

With the exception of the smallest and newest operations, it is all but impossible to implement a truly consistent and cohesive corporate appearance across a public transport network. Even relatively modern systems like the Docklands Light Railway give away the phases of their construction through different architectural styles at stations. And no matter how hard they try, when system operators bring in a new visual identity, they always overlook at least one or two pieces of signage from the previous regime, either by accident or design.

London Underground has British transport’s most consistent visual identity, based as it is around its red and blue roundel, and specially commissioned Johnston typeface. That’s the widespread perception, anyway, but it’s not really true. By the time the roundel and Johnston were implemented in the 1910s, much of the Underground had already been built, and the Metropolitan Railway would remain independent for some…

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