Time to upgrade your Oyster card

The Underground is redrawn for Designjunction’s Oyster card holders
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Pearson Lloyd Oyster card holder
Pearson Lloyd Oyster card holder

Designjunction certainly knows how to put itself on the map. Now in its third year, it’s one of the newer elements of September’s annual London Design Festival.

The show – which will be housed again in the old postal Sorting Office in Bloomsbury – is revisiting its limited edition Oyster Card holders. Previous design contributions came from Thomas Heatherwick, Tom Dixon and Established & Sons.

But this year, Designjunction and Transport for London have commissioned 10 participants in the show to create some new graphics.

 

James Joyce - Oyster card holder
James Joyce - Oyster card holder

It is, after all, London Underground’s 150th anniversary. So to keep the creations on brand, the designers have been asked to reference elements of the tube’s identity.

 

Ansdreas Neophytou - Oyster card holder
Ansdreas Neophytou - Oyster card holder

Which means that PearsonLloyd, Kate Moross, James Joyce, Andreas Neophytou, Noma Bar, Krstjana S Williams and MinaLima and others have had fun playing with some of the UK’s most iconic imagery, like Harry Beck’s tube map, which, by the way, turns 80 this year.

 

Noma Bar - Oyster card holder
Noma Bar - Oyster card holder

Celebrated product designers PearsonLloyd has given the Underground roundel some multi-coloured go-faster stripes. And Bar has subtly introduced a brace of mice – normally spotted scuttling along the tracks - to the marque. “I wanted to create a design with a narrative that would celebrate the forgotten areas of the underground” he says.

 

Minalima - Oyster card holder
Minalima - Oyster card holder

Neophytou was inspired by the patterned upholstery. “Durable, and great at concealing stains, the complex patterns of the colour-coded moquettes that furnish our trains and buses … are firmly embedded in the psyche of Londoners,” he says. 

 

Kate Moross - Oyster card holder
Kate Moross - Oyster card holder

Single holders are going for £6.99, and a set of 10 will set you back £55. But it’s not all about plastic wallets. TfL will also have a physical presence at the show, in the form of a pop-up bar and restaurant, called the Camden Town Bar - (aptly named, as anyone who's caught the last train home from that particular station will tell you). Meanwhile, design fans will be pleased to hear that The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design is newly available at a very special price in our online store.


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