Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has today nominated the Roundel into the Design Museum permanent collection display. The Roundel has been the logo for the London Underground tube network for over 100 years and will now form part of the free to visit permanent exhibition at the new Design Museum.
Selected for the museum's Crowdsourced Wall, the Roundel will sit amongst 300 objects nominated by the general public as their favourite design pieces. Due to be announced later this month, nominations have so far included furniture, fashion and even food.
"World-leading design and creativity is showcased across the capital on our streets, in our buildings and even on the Tube," Khan commented. "One of the most iconic symbols in London is undoubtedly the Roundel. Bold, simple and colourful, it unifies the Tube network and over 100 years since its introduction the classic bar and circle still looks timeless. It is a design that has come to represent a city and, in an age of rapid technological growth, the Roundel proves that there is still a place for printed graphic design. I'm sure the Roundel will be part of London for centuries to come, making it a terrific nominee for the Design Museum's permanent collection display."
The Roundel first appeared on Underground station platforms in 1908 and has become one of London's most iconic symbols. Comprising of a solid red circle and blue bar, the Roundel was originally created as a bold yet simple design for the Underground logo which later spread to include station names within the symbol. It was the vision of Frank Pick that led to the creation of the Roundel and the identity for the Tube, combining graphics, architecture and design to unify the entire network.
"The roundel is an essential part of London's personality," explained Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum. "It's an effortless piece of design that has become a natural part of the landscape. Even though it has inspired other cities, from Tokyo to Moscow, it's the symbol that has defined London's transport decade after decade."