London Underground Logo

London Underground LogoLondon Underground Logo PNG

For almost half a century since its establishment the London Underground did not have a standardized logo, as it was operated by several companies having their own branding and emblems.

Meaning and history

London Underground Logo history

1908 – 1913

London Underground Logo-1908
The very first logo for London Underground was created at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1908. Even though the badge has only been used for five years, all the following versions were based on it.
So the initial badge featured a stylized black and white lettering in the uppercase, where the first and the last letters were enlarged. Each of the letters in the lettering was enclosed into a square frame and had a solid black square inside. The composition resembled an underground train.

1913 – 1919

London Underground Logo-1913
The redesign of 1913 added the element, which became the most recognizable in the London Underground visual identity — a solid red circle. It was placed in the background, behind the train wordmark. This new concept looked ultra-modern and stylish, with clean lines and bright contrast.

1919 – 1933

London Underground Logo-1919
In 1919 the badge was refined and outlined in thin white and blue. The lettering was also a bit redrawn and the separate squares were replaced by short thick white lines placed above and under each letter. The letters were all in white and set in a navy blue background. The red circle was brightened up.

1933

London Underground Logo-1933
For a few months in 1933, the Underground badge looked like a white circle outlined in bold red rounded, with a dark blue and white wordmark banner crossing it horizontally. Above the logotype, there was a blue “L.P.T.B.” Inscription in medium-thickness lines of a traditional sans-serif typeface.

1933 – 1949

London Underground Logo-1933-1949
The blue color became brighter and the “L. P. T. B.” Inscription was removed at the end of 1933. Now the logotype banner was accompanied by two text lines — “ London” in black above, and “ Transport” under it. Both lines were executed in thin black sans-serif, with lots of air between the symbols.

1949 – 1951

London Underground Logo-1949

In 1949 the “Underground” inscription was replaced by the “Railways” in all capitals. The badge was outlined in blue and white and all the extra details were removed from it. As for the typeface, it was refined and the shapes of the letters became wider and more confident.

1951 – 1958

London Underground Logo-1951
Both the rounded and the rectangular banner’s outlines were removed in 1951. It was the most minimalist version of all, created before. The lines and contours were clean and bold, and the colors — bright and vivid, representing power, passion, professionalism, and strength of the company.

1958 – 1969

London Underground Logo-1958
In 1958 the “Underground” got back to the logo. The first and last letters of the uppercase wordmark were still enlarged, but the square frames and thick horizontal strokes were absent on this version. Simple, cool, recognizable, this is what the logo from those years looked like.

1969 – 1972

London Underground Logo-1969
The redesign of 1969 was about the inscription. Now all letters of the wordmark featured the same size, style, and color. The “Underground” in all capitals was written in a classic medium-weight sans-serif typeface, in white color over a bright blue horizontally stretched rectangular badge, which was crossing a scarlet-red rounded.

1972 – 1985

London Underground Logo-1972
The badge, introduced in 1972 and used by the underground for more than a decade, was, probably, the most interesting one. It was all red and white, with no lettering at all. The blue rectangular banner was replaced by the red one, and as it had no framing, the banner merged with the rounded and had both sides coming out of the circle.

1985 – Today

London Underground Logo

The well-known roundel first appeared on the platforms in 1908. The red bar and circle has been the main part of the London Underground logo ever since. Although the symbol has been modified more than once, these modifications were quite subtle: designers changed the wordmark and the color of the bar, but the very shape of the logo as well as the distinctive red roundel (which until 1972 was called “the bull’s-eye”) remained unchanged.

Font and color

The uppercase “Underground” inscription on the London Underground logo is executed in a clean and neat sans-serif typeface with distinct contours, thick lines, and stable shapes. The closest font to the one on the logo is P22 Underground Demi or Under London NF.

The bright and timeless blue, red and white color palette of the London Underground visual identity reflects power, professionalism, and safety. This combination also stands for trustworthiness, good reputation, and value of the company’s clients. It is an elegant, yet strong and eye-catching color scheme, which looks modern on any background and in any surroundings.