British Rail Designed 1948-97

Lawrence, David (2016) British Rail Designed 1948-97. London, U.K. : Ian Allan Publishing. 272p. ISBN 9780711038370


British Rail Designed 1948-97 is about the design successes, and failures, of Britain's most extensive state-sponsored industry. It is a story of people and ideas, movement and design, speed and colour. It is a comprehensive study of the crafting, operation and marketing of a national transport system, by which four steam-powered empires were transformed into a modern enterprise. Moving railway aesthetics from the consequences of engineering decisions, to an expression of the purpose and culture of a nation, British railway design has led world design trends. It has produced an extraordinary legacy of two- and three- dimensional design icons, and is evident today in good, clear communication and product design, from the international Eurostar network to contemporary revivals of letter forms conceived in the early 1960s. With railways once again topical, as Crossrail, Crossrail 2 the HS2 network and other projects serve to develop and regenerate regions, it is timely to recognise the considerable achievement of British Rail design.

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