Saturday, 28 December 2013


This was a key text for me in developing my theory through the essay, this looks at the concept of medieval modernism and the way Pick combined traditionalist beliefs to progressive concepts to design the London Underground


Friday, 27 December 2013


I have been going around taking photographs of official merchandise that is sold in various shops across London.  The design and imagery of the London Undergrounds seems to be successful in the capital with popular high street shops such as Paperchase selling a wide range of London Underground merchandise from Umbrellas to mugs to phone cases.

about us:
The London Transport Museum shop has a wide range of posters, clothes, toys and chic homeware available online at or in Covent Garden.

Transport for London and London Transport Museum, two of London’s most vibrant commercial websites, have merged to offer a wide variety of unique and stylish commissioned, exclusive and print to order products inspired by London’s transport and social history past and present.

Among the shop’s most popular items are iconic posters spanning a century of transport design, including art deco classics of the 1930s. London Transport Museum has one of the finest poster archives in the world with over 5,000 posters and 700 original poster artworks. Many of these London Underground posters by world famous artists and designers are available to buy online as a photographic reproduction in a range of sizes.

These are examples of merchandise in the Transport for London museum shop.  As well as using the obvious, recognisable, clean cut modern branding of the map and the logo they have also used the successful and traditional designs of the posters that were so popular at the time and still are now.

Sunday, 22 December 2013


I contacted the information desk to ask for specific statistics about the amount of revenue that the shop museum collects annually for my merchandise case study. 
I found these emails from Astrella to be very useful in locating contact information for specific questions I had.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Thursday, 19 December 2013


poster research
I thought this would be good to reference in my essay in relation to the poster art commissioned, looking at a more contemporary view and opinion on it.

Thursday, 12 December 2013


final lecture_resolving your research project
17th jan - 5 weeks away

getting stuck:

  • ask yourself why are you really stuck?
  • avoid negativity 
  • picture what being unstuck would look like
starting to take charge of your research project, not being a victim, what can I do in five weeks?!

becoming unstuck 
this is how I feel about being stuck > this is what Im really stuck with > being unstuck would look like this > what actions could be taken to get there > in what timescale? > do the action!

losing focus 

•Don’t lose sight of your central goal / overall question
•Prioritise- don’t obsess over how things look or read
•Involve your tutor
•Manage yourself

project self assessment 

Write down the major aims of the project
Give a brief summary of the work so far
Comment on your time management
Do you know what the final project will look like?
What steps will you take to ensure it gets there?
What areas of the project are you worried about?
What ‘risk management’ plans do you have?
How are you going to use the remaining tutorials?

running out of time
17th Jan- 5 weeks away
Refer to your original plan
Be more disciplined than ever
Don’t prioritise the practical over the written element
Set targets
Scale down your ambitions if necessary

losing motivation:
finding motivation is about thinking about why you are doing something and think about it having a use, set a target, increases motivation,
own personal deadlines.  You are in charge of the project, this will motivate you.

some other general advice 
Look again at your question or theme…have you done what you set out to do or do you need to change your title?
Make sure everything in your project relates to your title/question or theme (if you have wandered off on a tangent you may be penalised).
Make sure your dissertation is pitched at the right level i.e. avoid lots of description and include lots of critical analysis supported by relevant
theory (see the earlier lectures).
Justify everything you say with discussion or examples.
Support all of your assertions with references and evidence.
Introduce each chapter with a brief statement telling the reader what you are setting out to do and how this chapter fits in with the whole
Conclude each chapter by stating what you have achieved and how it links with the next ‘bit’.
A general overall introduction and conclusion should also be included giving the reader an insight into what is to come (intro) and what you
have achieved (conclusion).
Presentation / Academic Conventions. Refer to the guides on eStudio carefully

Monday, 9 December 2013


I attended a talk by author Oliver Green who specialises on London Underground design.  This talk in particular was based on Frank Pick and his visions and ideas about the design behind the tube and he's contribution to London.  

I found this talk to be extremely useful in helping build some of the points in my second chapter and generally feeding into my understanding of my overall essay.

Sunday, 8 December 2013


In chapter two of my dissertation I look more specifically at design elements within the tube, including the roundel.  The roundel is one of the most recognised designs to come out of the London Underground.  The point of the survey is to prove the success and strength of the design.  I feel in this case, one of the best ways to measure how successful the design is is by its popularity, how recognised it is nationally and internationally.  These are a set of nine logos representing nine different metro systems around the world, including the the most highly used subway in the world, the Seoul Metropolitan, South Korea.

The aim of the survey is to get a national (excluding London) and international audience to see how many logo designs the recognise.


Thursday, 5 December 2013


INITIAL PRIMARY RESEARCH IDEAS/testing the results of a survey on a small scale
I sent out this survey to see what kind of answers/feedback I would get from it and to see whether this initial idea could give more ideas for a survey that would help further my research.  This means of research in particular was to try and find out the importance of branding and design, and how this can effect the publics perception of the company/organisation.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013


academic conventions

1. Introduction
In this lecture I wish to look at a not uncommon way of writing and structuring books, dissertations and theses. This approach, I will argue, involves the writer announcing at the outset what he or she will be doing in the pages that follow. The default format of academic research papers and textbooks, it serves the dual purpose of enabling the reader to skip to the bits that are of particular interest and — in keeping with the prerogatives of scholarship — preventing an authorial personality from intruding on the material being presented. But what happens when this basically plodding method seeps so deeply into a writer’s makeup as to constitute a neutralisation of authorial voice, a limitation, a faux-objectivity? 

book that deconstructs the conventions of academic writing, three books in one all working together and operating on the same page, idea of challenging conventions is what COP could and should be about.

academic conventions: 

Academic Conventions are like an institutional framework for your work
They structure and standardise They aspire to academic honesty 

ways of writing, style of referencing quotations, what your work is meant to look and read like, an institutional framework for your work to be fitted into.  These academic conventions are in the back of their mind when assessing your work.  Series of rules you have to play by, its about academic honesty, following rules of referencing is not just about showing how much research I've done, what quoting and referencing is about is showing to anyone who looks where your argument is coming from, about honesty, clarity, openness

what you should be able to do:

At this level you are expected to be able to: 
Demonstrate a critical knowledge of practice 
Apply theory to practice Analyse relevant material 
Evaluate theory and evidence within the context of study
Reflect – critiquing and critically reflecting on your learning and using this to improve practice. 

deep learning can be evidenced through academic conventions.
take knowledge and do something new with it
surface approach - someone just doing something to get marks, a routine way of going about things.  Quoting and then not leading on from this with opinion etc is surface learning engagement, these are the bottom tow maximum of the pyramids.

Concentration on Learning Outcomes 
Passive acceptance of ideas 
Routine memorisation of facts Sees small chunks Ignore guiding patterns and principles 
Lack of reflection about, or ignorance of, underlying patterns and theories 
Little attempt to understand 
Minimal preparation and research 

deep learning

the way in which you write, structure, 

Independent engagement with material
Critical and thoughtful about idea and information
Relates ideas to own previous experience and knowledge
Sees the big picture
Relates evidence to conclusions 

Examines logic of arguments
Interested in wider reading and thinking 

Ongoing preparation and reflection 

how do I evidence deep learning?

Academic writing is formal and follows some standard conventions
Each academic discipline has its own specialist vocabulary which you will be expected to learn and use in your own writing
The substance of academic writing must be based on solid evidence and logical analysis, and presented as a concise, accurate argument.
Academic writing can allow you to present your argument and analysis accurately and concisely. 

learning the jargon and being able to use it comfortably, expected to use specialist vocabulary suited to the subject.


Aim for precision. Don’t use unnecessary words or waffle. Get straight to the point. Make every word count.
If there is any uncertainty about a particular point, use cautious language (such as ‘may’, ‘might’, ‘could’, ‘potentially’).
Unless you are a confident writer, it is best to avoid over-long sentences and to aim for a mixture of long and short sentences for variation and rhythm.
Avoid repeating the same words 

academic writing is much more about precession, sharp writing, not flowery, fancy pros


Avoid abbreviations and contractions
Avoid slang words and phrases
Avoid conversational terms 
Avoid vague terms

statement that backs it up, evidence and support. You don't need to write a conversational way of writing, using words like 'totally' 'this totally changed peoples lives' is an unnecessary word to make your argument seem more backed up

In many academic disciplines, writing in the first person is not acceptable as it is believed to be too subjective and personal. Many tutors prefer impersonal language to be used in assignments. 

writing in first person will show to most tutors that you are not following academic conventions, you have to be able to do it well, if you're anxious about that, do not write in first person

First person sentences use the pronouns ‘I’ and ‘we’. 
For example:
We have considered... 
I suggest that... 
I have observed... 

First person sentences use the pronouns ‘I’ and ‘we’. For example:
Consideration has been given to... 
The suggestion here is that... 
It has been observed...


Preliminaries - Title / Acknowledgements / Contents / List of Illustrations
Introduction - The abstract / Statement of the problem / Methodological approach
Main body - Review of the literature / logically developed argument / results of investigation
Conclusion - Discussion and conclusion / Summary of conclusions
Extras - Bibliography / Appendices 

long quote analysed in detail critical analysis
small quotes woven in to sentences
sections where you paraphrase 
blend all three things, triangulate, standardised 
3/4 quotations from each 

harvard referencing:

always follows this structure: Author (date) Title Place Publisher 

It would look exactly like this, structure and logic:
MILES, R. (2013) Why Referencing, Leeds: LCA Publishing

referencing after a quote

‘quote quote’
(surname, year, page) 
‘I have no idea how to reference’ (Miles, 2013:7)
“I have no idea how to reference” (Smith in Miles, 2013, p.7)  referencing a persons writing in another book


referencing images
3. Conclusion
In this lecture I have attempted to highlight the simultaneous necessity and limitations of a variety of academic conventions that institutionally frame research at undergraduate level. Put in slightly different terms, the necessity and limitations of structure per se. In doing so I hope to have broadly outlined a method for academic writing and the presentation of research in such work. As has been suggested, the contradictory nature of research sources on this topic can be disorienting for the budding researcher and, because of this, the importance of each individual finding consistent, but workable and personal, methods and approaches cannot be over- emphasised. Ultimately, ‘the default format’ of academic research, alluded to throughout, is one of many institutional codes, or discourses, that we have to learn to operate within, or perhaps subvert from within it. The success of this maneuvre will ultimately determine ‘success’ in institutional terms, in the form of a grade but, hopefully, not at the expense of ‘success’ in different terms, be they creative, artistic, personal or such like. 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


how the tube shaped Londonon_David Bownes, Oliver Green, Sam Mullins
published by the Penguin Group, 2012
'London and its transport are synonymous.  The Underground roundel and the Tube map signify London.' (p7)

'Londoners since the mid-ninethenth century have been moved, and the identity of their city defined, by the growth of the transport system.' (p7)

'The persuasive and essential nature of mass transport forms an integral part of the urban environment of London; through the blood-red tiling of Leslie Green's Edwardian stations, in his platform tile patterns and in the modernist station designs of Charles Holden for the Northern and Piccadilly line.  The Johnston typeface is London's alphabet, cutting cleanly through the visual clutter of the city's streets, while the Underground roundel stands out as a clear marker for stations and bus stops and symbolises the brand, the civic value, of this public service.' (p8)

'Greater London's population grew from around one million in 1800 to over seven million by 1914 and to a peak in 1939 of 8.6 million.  With a population of 8.3 million today, London is the prime economic mover at the heart of the UK's southeast region of up to 18 million people.' (p8)

Saturday, 23 November 2013


London Underground by design_Mark Ovenden.
published by the penguin group, 2013

notes and quotes:

'To travel the Underground is to travel through design time.  One hundred and fifty years of it.' (p6)

'With the passing of the decades and with electrification of the Underground came greater coherence.  With electric lighting came white glazed tiling that was to influence the style of Underground stations from Budapest to Paris (which lifted London's emerging design ethos wholesale).  And all the while, thanks to its decade long head start, London Underground was haphazardly forging, from the scramble of the vying companies' ambitions, a design code, architectural language and 'brand identity'.  Not that any of these terms of concepts existed as such.' (p7)

'the greatest patron of the arts whom this century has so far produced in England, and indeed the ideal patron of our age.'  -Nikolaus Pevsner describing Frank Pick (Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon PevsnerCBEFBA (30 January 1902 – 18 August 1983) was a German-born British scholar of history of art and, especially, of history of architecture.

Frank Pick, publicity officer, commercial manager and finally managing director of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London.  'He steered its branding and identity out of Edwardian age into the modern age.' (p7) he commissioned the typeface designed by Edward Johnston to Pick's brief in 1913, he coordinated signage and architecture across the entire network.

'The birth of a new idea in the nineteenth century - the transport interchange - and unfolds the invention of branding in the plots the organisation of commercial illustration, lettering design and printing into a new discipline called graphic design.  It follows the adaptation of architecture into a commercial tool.  It also roundly celebrates the Titans of engineering and design, individuals like Benjamin Baker who built a transport system so coherent, it paved the way for London to grow into the international city it is now.' (p7)

chapter_01: establishing a New style of Railway
underground trains began running beneath the streets of London in January 1863.  First in the world of its kind.  'A feat of engineering that embraced typically visionary Victorian values, but the design of the stations, vehicles, passenger information, maps and other printed ephemera was equally impressive for its day.' (p10)

'What would become one of Britain's greatest achievements in the design of the public built environment had its beginnings in the 1860s; indeed, information graphics and concepts such as 'wayfinding' and corporate identity can all trace their roots to this period.' (p10)

Railway was to be hidden entirely underground, first time in history.  Pearson (true visionary of the Underground railway concept, his proposal dates back to 1845 when he envisaged a Fleet Valley rail tunnel.  1846-proposed a huge central London rail terminal shared by all the operators and approached the Underground.  Prompted the plan in 1854, 'Metropolitan Railway' between Praed Street and Farringdon which grew into the scheme that opened in 1863, months after his death.)  recognised that all that way required above ground was the basic protection of stairway down to the platforms below.' (p11)

station design, 1860-63
digging up an entire road, covering with bricks, lining it with replacement road surface was disruptive

sans-serifs, 1816-present
sans-serif letterforms were used on posters, signage and handbills
Sans-serif type became the letterform of choice not just for many of Britain's early mainline rail companies, but for the Met, District, the Underground, and later, British Rail, with the Paris Metro and most American sub-surface rail companies following suit (p22)

Sunday, 17 November 2013


planning and organising - starting a detailed project plan

write down all the questions that you want to investigate:
-how has the iconic design of the Underground contributed to London as a major world city?
-how has the first Underground system in the world influenced other cities metro systems?
-how has Frank Pick contributed to the overall design of the London Underground?
-how have the designs developed throughout the 150 years?
-are the original designs still being used?
-how has the design and the general tube system helped to make the Underground an integral part of London living?
-have the designs changed throughout the years due to historical events, politics etc.?
-how has the branding become internationally recognised?
-what is the connection with the London Underground and art and design now?

A4 first thoughts sheet (written and practical)
what is the purpose of the study?
To find out the contribution the tube system has had to London over the years.  To look at the impact the branding and identity of the system has had across the world and how it has reached iconic status.  To look at how it has influenced other metro systems around the world.
decide on a working title:
'How has the iconic design of the Underground contributed to the success of London as a major world city?'

Saturday, 9 November 2013


Tom Cavanagh has replied to the email I sent:

Hi Kate,
You can e-mail me the questions and I will try and answer them.

I now need to think of some planned and structured questions that are directed at my COP3 question but must also consider Tom's area of expertise within Transport for London design (mostly poster art)
key question: 'How has the iconic design of the Underground contributed to London as a major world city?'

Hi Tom,

Im at the early stages of developing some of my research and varied primary research would really further my investigation.  I'm basically looking for some evidence in terms of artwork/posters that could help answer my main question which is:

'How has the iconic design of the Underground contributed to the success of London as a major world city?' so any response from you is a quote from an informed, reliable source which would really help.

I've tried to formulate two questions that could work with my dissertation

1. Do you think the posters/artwork of London Underground have contributed or helped raise the profile of London as a major world city?

2. To your knowledge have other underground systems used or imitated London's revolutionary graphics to promote their own subterranean transport systems? 

I don't know if these are perhaps too broad to answer?  Or if I need to direct it more to a specific piece of artwork/poster for the question to be more structured for you to answer?

Thanks for your time,


toms reply:
Hi Kathryn
My answers are below
1. Do you think the posters/artwork of London Underground have contributed or helped raise the profile of London as a major world city?
I do not think the LU posters alone have but the combination of LU Art and Industry could have raised the profile in a small way.
2. To your knowledge have other underground systems used or imitated London's revolutionary graphics to promote their own subterranean transport systems? 
No Other Underground company have used posters extensively like the LU have.

Friday, 8 November 2013


first cop tutorial
I had my first tutorial today with Phil which basically helped me to get a better understanding of the structure of the essay and organising the project in a more successful and effective manner.  As it was the first tutorial we went over the basics of how to start organising the essay and looking at possible directions for research.

I feel I now need to properly organise everything I've done so far and write everything up in a structured way, this week I will aim to start piecing together some paragraphs whilst undertaking more research.

notes from the tutorial - structuring

  • 4-6 chapters 
  • abstract 
summary of what the argument is, main points I'm covering, stating what you're going to tell

  • contents
  • introduction
introducing question - brief outline of what you're doing.  Who, what, why? Tell the reader what you're going to do - lay out all information

  • main body of discussion
different number of chapters - discuss research - case studies - analysis and evaluation of discussion - own opinion - don't put anything that you cant prove

  • conclusions and findings
state clearly - answer the main question - rationale - definite conclusion
further suggestions for research, if another person was to build on your research what further questions would arise 

  • bibliography
references, source materials

tutorial record

Wednesday, 6 November 2013


primary underground photographs.
Whilst in London I documented some signage and typography from the underground, a couple of quick photos to build on some initial visual research.  Whilst using the tube over the weekend you can see how the design is still the same just transformed slightly in terms of keeping things up to date.  The design however is timeless, the same type face is used, the roundel has not been changed, the map is still Harry Becks design and some of the stations have still maintained some of the original architecture.


methodology & critical analysis.


How the information you have found is ...
Refer back to previous lectures that have emphasised  the importance of evidence

You need to clearly evidence why you selected these methods of gathering information and selecting evidence and why they are the most
appropriate for your study...
This will make you appear to be in control and aware of what you are doing...
methodology - A systematic way of sifting through information to get to the point - occur in an introduction

dictionary definition:
•noun, plural -gies. 1. a set or system of methods, principles, and rules for regulating a given discipline, as in the arts or sciences.
•2. Philosophy . a. the underlying principles and rules of organization of a philosophical system or inquiry procedure.
•b. the study of the principles underlying the organization of the various sciences and the conduct of scientific inquiry.
•3. Education . a branch of pedagogics dealing with analysis and evaluation of subjects to be taught and of the methods of teaching

To describe and analyse… methods, throwing light on their limitations and resources, clarifying their suppositions and consequences,
relating their potentialities to the twilight zone at the frontiers of knowledge… (Kaplan, 1973:93)

It is not that we must somehow ‘please’ our critical colleague audiences; the deeper issue is to avoid self delusion. After that we can
turn to the task about how we did study, and what worried us about its quality. Without such methodological frankness, we run the
risk of reporting ‘knowledge that ain’t so’. (Miles & Huberman, 1994:294)

These can help you decide upon the methods you use
Alternatively the material you find may suggest the appropriate theories
•noun, plural the·o·ries. 1. a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as
principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity. Synonyms: principle, law, doctrine.
•2. a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions
that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact. Synonyms: idea, notion hypothesis, postulate. Antonyms: practice, verification,
corroboration, substantiation.
•3. Mathematics . a body of principles, theorems, or the like, belonging to one subject: number theory.
•4. the branch of a science or art that deals with its principles or methods, as distinguished from its practice: music theory.
•5. a particular conception or view of something to be done or of the method of doing it; a system of rules or principles: conflicting
theories of how children best learn to read.

Choose at least one key theory that relates to the material you are looking at...
Examples of theories often used by students:
•Psychological- S.Freud; C.Jung; J.Lacan; L.Mulvey etc.
•Communication theory- J.Fiske, etc.
•Postcolonialism- Spivak, Said, Bhabha etc.
•Social History of Art- T.J.Clarke, J.Berger etc.
•Marxism / Post-Marxism- Frankfurt School
•Gender Studies / Feminist- G.Pollock; L.Nochlin

action research
Choose the Theories and Methods most appropriate to your subject
one_methods, two_theory, three_application
1. Make decisions about how to collect and order  information
2. Choose a relevant theoretical stand point
3. Apply these to your study
4. Explicitly outline this in the introduction. Address suggested failings in the conclusion.

dictionary definition
from the Greek word Kreinein, meaning to separate or to choose
Reasoned Thinking
‘Stepping away’ and using evidence and logic to come to your conclusions 

finding ways to disprove hypothesis and left with 'truth' being critical, the opposite of being emotive or suggestive informed body of
research with a critical approach

some perspectives that you might adopt or consider


say something with conviction and bias and back it up with loads of research, if you don't agree with something then don't
pay 'lip service' to something you think is wrong...make everything clear in the methodology different approaches lead to 
different results.

Where was the author/artist/designer/photographer situated?
Try to consider different points of view...where the creator was coming from intellectually; emotionally; philosophically,
being critical is about interrogating the sources that you're using.  
where are you coming from, you're particular take on things
where am I coming from? How is my choice of topic influenced by my emotions; aspirations; context?

context is everything

Consider the influence of one or more of the following:
the time; place; society; politics; economics; technology; philosophy; scientific thought.... 
everything you look at, case studies of whatever- how does the time and place affect its meaning how did political issues affect this...
changes/development in do they all relate or inform what you're looking at, what and why was the designer making?
how does this relate to other stuff going on?
critical analysis
as you're writing, don't just make points, always back up with evidence, evidence could be quotes, empirical, data from surveys etc.

what is the evidence for what you're saying?  Could you find more evidence to support your conclusion?
always try and find more than one source to support conclusions


think about an argument that progresses

argument - what do you want to say?
have I got the evidence to back it up?
where else do I need to look in order to find more evidence?

evidence that you have looked at more than one source and can find an answer within a multitude of theories
assess a number of different takes on one topic
and then find you're stance on it

Pitting alternative theories against the same body of data

a clear logical plan
Keep it simple- refine what you want to say and focus on a few key issue
Look into your key issues in depth and bring in the maximum evidence in to support your views
Discuss your issues and the evidence you have found in a clear and logical manner
Move from the general to the specific
You need to show the reader that you are evaluating the evidence for its relevance and reliability
Evaluation= Looking at and coming to conclusions about the value of your evidence

critical analysis of a text step by step
Step one
Identify an aspect of your specialist subject that you would like to explore.

Step two
Select a writer or theorist and a particular piece of writing about your specialist subject.

Step three
                Make notes that Identify the key points in the writing.

Step four
What evidence is used to support or 'prove' the key points'.

Step five
Is it convincing?
What else needs to be said in order to 'prove' the key points?

Step six
Write a response to the piece of writing and comment on:
the implications for your work; do you agree/ disagree with what has been said ? Does it help to support your views/ argument?
the thoughts you have had as the result of reading this piece;
on the evidence used by the writer.

visual analysis, step by step
The following prompts could be used when analysing a piece of visual work:
Look at and comment upon the significance of the use of...
Line; Colour; Tone; Texture; Form; Composition; etc.
How are these related to the function of, or ‘message’ communicated by, the piece?
How are they related to context; media and materials available ;technology; attitudes prevalent at the time the work was made?
What evidence do you have to support your conclusions?