The Black Cab Is London's Transport Design Icon

By Jo Connarty Last edited 32 months ago
The Black Cab Is London's Transport Design Icon
We have a winner: the black cab

The black cab is the most iconic piece of London transport design. That's the outcome of a TfL's Transported By Design poll, in which more than 10,000 Londoners voted.

Voters were given two months and a shortlist of 100 transport designs, carefully chosen by industry experts, staff and the London Transport Museum.

Coming in at second place was the work of former London Transport Chief Executive, Frank Pick; he was the man who commissioned countless classic tube posters and the Johnston typeface, still used on the network today.

Third place went to Harry Beck's iconic tube map.

Sam Mullins, director of London Transport Museum, said: “Good design is at the heart of everything that TfL and its predecessor organisations deliver; from the golden age of the publicity posters in the early 20th century, to the technological developments and innovation that have led to London’s public transport system becoming a world leader.

TfL's Transported By Design programme continues through next year, with London by Design, a season of events at the London Transport Museum which includes Night Shift — an exhibition about London after dark, and the unveiling of a commemoration at Piccadilly Circus station to Frank Pick next autumn.

See a list of the full top 100 design icons here.

Classic Tube Poster With Johnston Typeface
Classic tube poster with Johnston typeface (it came second)
Original Tube Map
Harry Beck's original tube map (which came in third)
Baker Street Underground platforms (fourth)
The good old roundel logo (fifth place)

Last Updated 04 November 2015


There was only one cab in the list to choose from, but a number of buses, and would many of the general public know the difference between an RT and an RM...? My point being that the "bus" votes were split between several types of similar looking classic buses, allowing the generic "black cab" to drive around the back doubles and get there in front! I wonder if "classic red bus" would have been higher up the chart if the RT, and RM etc votes were all added into one... As it is both RT and RM made it into the top 10 in their own rights... I wonder if the figures for actual votes will be revealed to be able to test my theory...???!!