Frank Pick

Frank Pick Hon. RIBA was a British transport administrator. After qualifying as a solicitor in 1902, he worked at the North Eastern Railway, before moving to the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) in 1906. At the UERL he rose through the corporate ranks, becoming joint assistant managing director in 1921 and managing director in 1928. He was chief executive officer and vice-chairman of the London Passenger Transport Board from its creation in 1933 until 1940.

Frank Pick

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Pick had a strong interest in design and its use in public life. He steered the development of the London Underground's corporate identity by commissioning eye-catching commercial art, graphic design and modern architecture, establishing a highly recognizable brand, including the first versions of the roundel and typeface still used today. Under his direction, the UERL's Underground network and associated bus services expanded considerably reaching out into new areas and stimulating the growth of London's suburbs. His impact on the growth of London between the world wars led to him being likened to Baron Haussmann and Robert Moses.

Pick's interest extended beyond his own organization; he was a founding member and later served as President of the Design and Industries Association. He was also the first chairman of the Council for Art and Industry and regularly wrote and lectured on design and urban planning subjects. For the government, Pick prepared the transport plan for the mass evacuation of civilians from London at the outbreak of war and produced reports on the wartime use of canals and ports.

2017 History of Graphic Design

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