‘Travel Better London’ – it’s probably not the first thing that comes to mind considering the recent strike on the London Underground. However, the tube is a brilliant way of getting around the city and with last year’s 150th anniversary it can look back on a long and successful history of getting passengers from A to B.
One thing that strikes me on every visit to London though is that while the British are renowned in the world for having perfected the art of queuing, it never quite seems to work on the tube. Often enough I hear announcements like “Use the whole length of the platform”, “Don’t obstruct the doors” or “Move down inside the carriage”. Well, I guess having that many tourists from all over the world visiting London and squeezing into the tube during rush hour doesn’t help either. That includes me, of course…
On my recent trip two weeks ago I spotted some posters on the platforms and in the trains that approach these ‘behavioural’ problems in a subtle but fun way. Each poster features an illustration by Matthieu Bessudo aka McBess and a poem which aims to remind travelers to be aware of others and your surroundings. All the typography is hand-drawn and McBess even added himself as a character in some of the posters. His distinctive style really makes an impact.
You can view a great film of McBess at work on this project here.