The London Underground is a British icon and it’s only fitting that iconic British brands The Royal Mint and Penguin Books should choose to produce commemorative coins and books to mark the occasion.
The London Underground has contributed far more than just convenient transport, it has come to represent what is best about British design, ingenuity, innovation and culture. The anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on 150 years through which British society changed immeasurably.
The Royal Mint has struck two £2 coins designed by internationally acclaimed designers. The pack features a detail from the world renowned London Underground map (it’s Tower Hill station – the original location of The Royal Mint!) and we worked very closely with Transport for London to produce a design that is a fitting tribute to the Underground and its design and artistic legacy.
The ‘Train’ coin, designed by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, who designed the iconic London 2012 Olympic Torch, depicts the front of the familiar Tube train emerging from a tunnel.
The ‘Roundel’ coin which has been created by designer Edwina Ellis, bears the London Underground logo which first appeared on Underground station platforms in 1908.
The obverse of all UK coins for 2013 features the current portrait of Her Majesty The Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS.
You can buy the coins in collector quality finishes and in precious metals from The Royal Mint website. For those who are hunting the circulating version of the coin, it is estimated that they will be in circulation on the London Underground by late January. Look out for them!
Penguin are publishing a series of books that look deeper at the impact the London Underground has had on British life.
Two books are already published, with a further to follow at the end of January.
In March Penguin release a series of 12 books featuring each of the London Underground lines. Twelve writers tell their tales, each inspired by a different Tube line. Some are personal, some are polemical; every one is unique. Each book forms a conversation across the city, showing how we are connected, and how the space in which we live shapes us and our imaginations.
In this lavishly illustrated book, David Bownes, Oliver Green and Sam Mullins draw on previously unused sources and images to produce a new history that celebrates the crucial role of the Underground in the creation and everyday life of modern London.
Blending social history with the story of the pioneering engineers, designers, and social reformers who created the system, London Underground 150 reflects on the problems of keeping a fast growing city on the move.
London Underground by Design (published 31 Jan)
Since its establishment 150 years ago as the world’s first urban subway, the London Underground has continuously set a benchmark for design that has influenced transit systems from New York to Tokyo, Moscow to Paris and beyond. Rich with hundreds of illustrations, some never before seen, London Underground by Design shows that design is not just about aesthetic pleasure, but is crucial to how we get around.
Poems on the Underground (already published)
After over twenty-five years and 500 poems, Poems on the Underground has become a welcome sight on London Underground trains. In this beautiful new edition published to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Tube, poems old and new, romantic, comic and sublime explore love, London, the wider world, exile, the seasons, dreams, music, war and the nature of poetry itself.
Get the coins now
Prices range from £20 – £2000 and stocks are limited.