Railway Station Roundel

 Ever wondered where this station name roundel came from ?

The origins of the roundel, in earlier years known as the ‘bulls-eye’ or ‘target’, are obscure. While the first use of a roundel in a London transport context was the 19th-century symbol of the London General Omnibus Company – a wheel with a bar across the centre bearing the word GENERAL – its use on the Underground stems from the decision in 1908 to find a more obvious way of highlighting station names on platforms.

The red circle with blue name bar was quickly adopted, with the word “UNDERGROUND” across the bar, as an early corporate identity. The logo was modified by Edward Johnston in 1919.

Each station displays the Underground roundel, often containing the station’s name in the central bar, at entrances and repeatedly along the platform, so that the name can easily be seen by passengers on arriving trains.

The roundel has been used for buses and the tube for many years and, since TfL took control, it has been applied to other transport types (taxi, tram, DLR etc.) in different colour pairs.

The 100th anniversary of the roundel was celebrated by TfL commissioning 100 artists to produce works that celebrate the design.

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