Andrew Hudson x Transport for London

2nd June 2023

An iconic London identity with an Andrew Hudson spin

In May, TDF’s Andrew Hudson brought his mark to TfL’s (Transport for London) visual heritage with a striking series of 18 posters.

We asked him a few questions about his process and the inspiration for a new series of personal works titled ‘Eyes Down’.

Can you tell us about your creative process designing a whole suite of TfL posters?

Typically, I’d start with a sketch in pencil then I flood colour into the composition. For this project, the client had a clear art direction: so I’d take an approved scamp and add in blocks of colour as vectors then adjust the layout, explore colour variations and type treatments before moving to photoshop. I’d brush in stippled textures and patterns inspired by the surroundings of the TfL network, crafting rough edges for a less perfect, more human feel.

What was important to keep in mind?

The illustrations needed to convey the environment but also not distract from the message. I tried to avoid a set colour for walls, floors or tracks and instead focused on flexing their [TfL’s colours and breaking conventional ‘rules’ of perspective.

I wanted to ensure each poster felt unique. The hardest part was getting the balance between creative energy and legibility – after all, these are safety posters and need to convey a message quickly.

Are there any previous TfL campaigns that have inspired you?

I consciously didn’t look back to other TfL campaigns. However, I love the iconic TfL posters from Abram Games (for the stippled shading and brushwork), and Horace Taylor and Kathleen Stenning (for their use of bold colours). So, perhaps there’s a bit of a nod to them in this new series.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of this project?

TfL has a huge collection of posters and I like the idea of these designs joining the archive and being referenced in the future. Plus, of course, seeing my designs as I travel around London for the next couple of years.

You’re also working on a TfL-inspired personal project. Can you tell us more?

Whilst commuting I noticed people spend a lot of their time on their phones. So, I began documenting these moments of stillness in my sketchbook and have started turning them into paintings on canvas – a series titled ‘Eyes Down’.

I like to think I’m capturing this moment in time. 25 years ago most people would have been engrossed in the daily paper... I wonder if in another 25 years we’ll still be looking at our phones, or will technology look very different by then?

Stay in the loop

A lot can happen in a month, so we thought we’d write it all down on one virtual piece of paper. Sign up to receive a friendly message in your inbox.