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Sounds of the city: Transport for London Association of Illustrators' Poster Competition entry 2017

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posted on 2017-01-25, 10:44 authored by Andrew SelbyAndrew Selby
Inspired by the historic works of Edward McKnight-Kauffer (London history at the London Museum, 1922) and Abram Games (Zoo, 1976), this image was produced in response to the everyday repetitive cacophony of sounds experienced in the city of London by commuters, tourists and residents. The history of London Transport posters is of significance to this work; capturing the multiplicity of events in one singular image is crucial to the successful reading of this image, through the ability of illustration to penetrate and condense subjects. The visual outcome uses first-hand visual ethnographic research to develop ideas to illustrate feelings of community and solidarity. The intensity of the image is designed to visually reflect ethnic diversity, multi-culturalism and belonging in a modern global context, using a personalised graphic language of symbols, icons and patterns that display a personalised palette of complimentary colours. The image depicts physical markers and landmarks and alludes to a sense of place, although not an exact geographical map of London. By locating recognisable places and spaces, the image suggests tensions and harmonies between fixed and transiting objects and situations, illustrating the ebb and flow of communities, societies and organisations in a modern city. This is reflected in both the solid structure of buildings, monuments and public places and in the transience of the city; the train lines, roads and the river are all depicted as being in flux, carrying, transporting and depositing. Imbued in the image is a sense of the order, the rhythm and the certainty of schedule; sitting harmoniously against the frenetic, the unexplained and unexpected drama of everyday city life.



  • The Arts, English and Drama


  • Arts




© Andrew Selby


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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Andrew Selby was one of 100 illustrators selected from over 3000 contributors who entered The Prize for Illustration 2017 - Sounds of the City - an illustrated interpretation of urban sound. The competition was organised by the Association of Illustrators (AOI) in partnership with London Transport Museum (LTM). The exhibition of posters took place at London Transport Museum, 19 May to 3 September 2017.


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London Transport Museum

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