You'll know TfL's Barman moquette, even if you don't know it by name. It covers seats on the Northern, Central, and Jubilee lines, and a colour variation of it adorns the Bakerloo line. It takes its name from former London Transport Publicity Officer Christian Barman, but the people who brought it into the world are design team Wallace Sewell. We spoke to them about how it came about — and how it could have been different.
By 2010, design duo Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell had already put their stamp on the London Overground and Tram seats, when TfL opened a competition to design its latest moquette. To maximise their chances in line with the competition rules, they each entered two designs. One of them was picked over 300 other entries, and that's the one you see today. But they also showed us the other variations that they entered — the Barmans that could have been:
You'll notice the same colours are used in all the designs — that's because TfL dictates the four colours that must be used in each moquette; in this case, the two blues, red and black.
The curvaceous design below has got us lamenting the lack of Easter eggs available in July, but given that the design brief was iconic London, we reckon the right one won.
Of course, these are only Wallace Sewell's entries to the competition — there are over 300 other entries to the 2010 competition that we'll probably never get to see.
We also got a peek at the process of refining the winning design. Here, side by side, are four incarnations that the moquette went through, after TfL had chosen it as the winner, giving an idea of just how much work goes into designing those seats you sit on everyday.
Trying to work out which landmarks you can see? Here's a helping hand:
Find out more about Wallace Sewell here.