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Brilliant. When can I get a 'GRE' tshirt?


memories of the 80's/90's gameshow Blockbusters come to light :)


HIG? I assume that's because HAR is taken by Harrow, but surely TOT would be better? Highgate is barely within Haringey at all.


Heh. Although K&C looks a bit like KFC from a distance.

To pick up from last year's post as well (reminds me a bit of the late-80s ITV logos - http://www2.tv-ark.org.uk/itv1/1989.html ) the trouble with trying to brand London's boroughs is the boroughs themselves. They're often designed for electoral effiency instead of any sense of a unified community. And many would resent any interference in their little fiefdoms.


Hmm. Metropolitan France is "l'Hexagone" and the shape occurs quite frequently in French public places. Maybe London needs another polygon?


Fascinating map. The straight lines of the new boundaries will make it even easier for Barnet to figure out where to remove their cycle lanes!


I think this is a great stab at solving a really interesting problem.

Being a graphic designer I really like the idea of there being more consistent branding that runs through all of the boroughs. After all they are all boroughs of London.

I'm sure a solution that provides a uniformity throughout with room for each borough to add a unique element of their own could be found.


Now watch all of them bicker over which colour they get to be :)

Jonathan Hartley

Isn't this the opposite of what is needed? A beautifully diverse and contextual set of brands and iconography already exists, giving each borough a uniquely recognisable style and personality, often with real links to the history and culture of the Borough in question. I don't see how it's in *any* way desirable to wipe all that away and give every Borough an unmemorable variation on the same logo.

It reminds me of the old nuclear power station controls, with beer taps attached to the levers. Standardised levers were impossible to remember or distinguish between, whereas idiosyncratic, non-conforming beer taps reduced operator confusion and stress.


>> each larger 2 mile hex could be divided into a grid of smaller hexes.

erm, no it can't. As your final diagram clearly shows.

Hugs though!


By having a clearly defined boundary between the boroughs, it would make it clearer to know where you were, and get a sense of how far other parts of the city are. In John Leighton's plan, a lamppost on every street-corner would identify which borough one was in, constantly reinforcing the identity of the boroughs.

At the moment the boroughs are merely administrative districts, and do nothing to imbue a sense of identity or belonging. This is reflected in the current sorry state of the existing borough logos. Where some may see "a beautifully diverse and contextual set of brands and iconography", I see a hideous melange of the crass and the bland, with no coherence or sense of part of a greater whole, ie London. The similar-but-different vibe of the Japanese municipal flags, where the stylistic restrictions provide the parameters for a rich graphic presence. It would be good to see if each borough could come up with a defining 'katakana' that could be represented in a more unified way (see further this news story)

@Mark Hogan: It's interesting to see different boroughs approach to traffic calming and cyclists. Barnet may be painting over the cycle lanes, but they've also got rid of the speed bumps. In contrast, Islington is the speed bump capital of the world, including on bike lanes.

But in some ways these differentiators are to be welcomed. I seem to recall that in Birmingham, when you crossed into Solihull the roads were made from a red tarmac.

Enrique Ramirez

Fascinating! The use of hexagonal models for regional/urban planning purposes has an interesting history. Specifically, the work of Walter Christaller (1893-1969), and his Die zentralen Orten in Suddeutschland (1933) comes to mind. For that book, Christaller organized a theory—"Central Place Theory"—around the qualitative relationships between cities in a region. He used hexagonal diagrams to show these relationships. Christaller's work not only influenced urban planning/regional science in the US in the mid 20th century, but also appears in more recent scholarship, such as William Cronon's Nature's Metropolis. On a more sordid note, Christaller was an important figure in Himmler's office for future regional planning in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe.


All this makes me think of G K Chesterton and his book "The Napoleon of Notting Hill"


I really like the idea of there being more consistent branding that runs through all of the boroughs.It reminds me of the old nuclear power station controls, with beer taps attached to the levers.

Miles Brindley

What a fascinating subject! There are obviously many pro's & con's for and against such an idea.
This does simplify things however as already stated by others it takes away the individual identity of different boroughs. It would cause major uproar amongst residents on the borders of more select suburbs who may be re-located into a lesser desired suburb thus affecting the residual value of their property.
There is a similar problem with the installation of CCTV security surveillance cameras whereby a borough with CCTV cameras installed is classed as a more desirable area to live than one that hasn't.
Personaly I think it would be too expensive & inpracticle to put into action in the UK.


Thanks for a fascinating column. Great job.

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