Two global brands have partnered with Transport for London (TfL) to mark the 100th anniversary of the iconic Johnston typeface. Mattel have produced a limited edition Scrabble set while Nike has designed a new NikeLab x Roundel trainer using the font.
Edward Johnston's font was introduced by London Transport in 1916, bringing uniformity across the transport network. The clean simplicity of the lettering has stood the test of time, remaining popular throughout the last century and featuring in signs, maps and other customer information. In 2016, its centenary year, the Johnston font was subtly updated to create Johnston100 for the digital age.
The special edition Johnston inspired Scrabble set includes pieces featuring the Johnston font and comes in a wooden box transcribed in the same distinctive lettering. It is now on sale exclusively at London Transport Museum.
The Nike partnership revives the cult classic Air Zoom Spiridon trainer, which will be available to purchase from 23 November from select retailers. These NikeLab x Roundel trainers mark the second collaboration between TfL and Nike following a highly sought after edition of trainers inspired by moquette fabric released in 2013 to celebrate 150 years of London Underground.
The centenary of the Johnston typeface coincides with TfL and London Transport Museum's 'Transported by Design' programme supported by Exterion Media, marking the impact of design on the transport network with a series of exhibitions, events and merchandise.
The partnerships with both Scrabble and Nike form part of TfL's work to raise non-fares revenue to reinvest in improving London's transport services.
David Ellis, Head of Intellectual Property at Transport for London, said: `It is great that global brands like Nike and Mattel are joining us to help celebrate the Johnston typeface, which has helped Londoners and visitors navigate the Capital for a hundred years. We hope that these unique products will be the start of many more interesting collaborations that inspire new audiences to find out about the history and future of transport in London.
Jupiter Depshy, Footwear Design Special Projects Nike said, `Nike first unveiled the Air Zoom Spiridon in 1997. Although a style popular with runners, it also got picked up as a street style icon. Working with our partners at TfL we thought that the shoe made sense for today's youth, and would be a great canvas for the designs. This year London Underground's iconic typeface celebrates its centenary so there are many activities celebrating the Johnston100 font. Nike is excited to be part of the project, to mark a design evolution that is local to London.'
For more details about the Johnston Scrabble set visit https://www.ltmuseumshop.co.uk/gifts/special-edition-johnston-scrabble
For more information about Johnston100 visit https://tfl.gov.uk/campaign/a-century-of-type
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