British Library
St Pancras station
King’s Cross Station
319—321 Gray’s Inn Road
Road traffic signs
Cent. London T&E Hosp.
Royal Free Hospital
Parsons’ Library
R L Homœopathic Hospital
British Monomarks
Faraday House
Central Saint Martins
Pharmaceutical Soc.
British Museum
Dairy Supply Co.
Smith’s umbrellas
Lavers & Barraud
Underground station
27–29 Long Acre
Street names
The Coliseum
Pedestrian signage
St Martin’s Schools
St Martin’s/Fields
Sainsbury Wing
Further reading
Image bibliography
Exploiting context

Street names Hop Gardens and elsewhere

The Victorians and Edwardians were very straightforward about street names choosing robust letterforms and long-lasting materials. Among the best post-war solutions are the City of Westminster signs designed by Chris Tinings at the DRU c.1968. They use two colours and sizes of Univers Bold Condensed to create a clear hierarchy of information. Produced from vitreous stove enamelled steel, their 25mm return gives them considerable presence whatever the background material.

Any reservations I have about the scheme concern not the design but the scale and necessity of its application: did every street name in Westminster really need replacing at this time? Was it really necessary to define the new borough’s territory quite so pedantically, it’s rather like a dog marking its territory. Several serviceable older versions exist along Floral Street [pic] nearby.

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Others nearby
Also nearby

All stills for Street names

Others nearby

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Ceramic sign surviving nearby on London’s last gas-lit street.

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Ceramic sign surviving nearby: why was a new sign necessary?


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Despite their clarity, the standard pattern of Westminster street names was not deemed ‘sensitive’ enough in certain areas. In 1995 these appeared. Note the size difference: these could not be read from across the street and were removed soon after.

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The replacement for the 1995 blue names is at least legible, but why is one needed here?

Also nearby

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Above head height, opposite the Lamb & Flag on Rose Street, can be seen a name denoting a prostitute’s territory.