Brooch Design Competition - Craft Central

Design a Brooch Inspired by the London Underground Map


Design Competition




10th February 2017


Letisha Vilkhu


Design a Brooch Inspired by the London Underground Map

Craft Central Design Brief

Joanna Sterling’s London Underground Tube Map inspired brooch collection sparked an idea to offer a competition to design brooches inspired by Underground Stations in conjunction with Craft Central, TubeFlash and Transport for London.

At the cutting edge of craft for over 40 years, Craft Central is a charity actively supporting high standards in craft and design and nurturing an appreciation of fine craftsmanship in members of the public. It provides affordable studio spaces, galleries, promotion opportunities, business support and other valuable opportunities for designer makers at any stage of their career. We have a 600 strong national member network of   designer makers in addition to the 100 in studios in our two Victorian buildings in Clerkenwell.

London Transport is steeped in a history of innovative design which was built on the convictions of one man, Frank Pick whose energy and vision changed the design of transport and indeed of London itself. Pick's original vision was that good, well-managed design can change the culture of and public perception of a business and much of Pick’s design vision is still upheld by Transport for London today.

Transport for London & The Tube Map
The brand identity of Transport for London (TfL) is solidified by two of the world’s most famous design properties: the Underground Roundel TfL’s trademark; and the Underground Map, the pinnacle of information design based on an electrical circuit diagram, first conceived by Harry Beck in 1931.

The Underground Map has been the inspiration for countless works of art and design and also the driving force behind a new artistic project TubeFlash imagined by Joanna Sterling of The Casket of Fictional Delights.

TubeFlash is a collection of original flash fiction (short stories under 300 words) inspired by the London Underground Map paired with a fine collection of vintage and contemporary brooches also inspired by London Underground. Joanna Sterling’s brooch collection sparked an idea to offer a competition to design brooches inspired by Underground Stations in conjunction with Craft Central, TubeFlash and Transport for London.

Reintroducing the Brooch into 21st Century Design
The brooch, once an essential accessory, has somewhat fallen out of fashion but this competition is aimed at reintroducing the brooch into 21st Century Design.

All the selected designs will be launched at Clerkenwell Design Week 2017 and showcased in Craft Central's foyer gallery space.

Selling Opportunity
Other cultural retailers will be approached to judge the competition and potentially sell the brooches so including Underground stations near the institutions may be advantageous:

  • Barbican – Barbican Centre
  • Farringdon – TubeFlash currently does not have a brooch for Farringdon or a flash fiction story – A flash fiction story will be commissioned for Farringdon to launch with the collection at Clerkenwell Design Week so we would be looking to have a brooch to accompany the story
  • St Paul’s – Museum of London and St Paul’s Cathedral
  • Covent Garden – London Transport Museum
  • High Street Kensington – Design Museum
  • South Kensington – V&A

Winning Designs
All the winning designs will be showcased at Craft Central during Clerkenwell Design Week 23-25th May. The exhibition of the brooches will be on for four weeks until 10th June 2017.

All the winning designers can sell their designs through their own outlets, websites and retailers.
TfL will also arrange for winning designs will be sold online – orders will be sent direct to the maker to fulfil.

TfL will also arrange to show the winning designs to other select retail buyers.

Competition Rules
You can design a brooch or brooches inspired by one or as many Underground Stations as you like. As the selected designs will be launched at Clerkenwell Design Week we would like to feature a brooch or brooches for Farringdon.

The brooches can be inspired by TubeFlash so taking an Underground Station and designing a brooch which reflects this station or you can use any of TfL’s intellectual property as inspiration or as your design base.

Brooches should come in any of three retail price categories:

  • Under £30
  • Under £50
  • £50 and above

As all the designs will be promoted and branded under TfL’s trademark and inspired by or using TfL’s intellectual property portfolio the brooches will need to be produced under a TfL licence. Royalties will be payable on the all sales of the brooch designs. The royalties will be minimal around 10% of the cost price so this needs to be factored into calculating your retail price.

Artwork can be obtained by emailing

Submissions and final designs

  • Initial designs to be submitted to Craft Central by 10th February 2017
  • Final selected designs to be created by 14th April 2017

Submit Entries
Submit your entries via

Inspiration from TfL’s Intellectual Property Portfolio
Underground Roundels
You can take inspiration for the famous Roundel trademark or
You can use the Underground Roundel trademark with

  • Underground station names, London, Mind the Gap or Underground
  • Underground line names
  • Underground Roundels can be reproduced in the Underground line colours or any all
  • One colour but can only be reproduced in two colours if you use the official colours for the Underground, Docklands Light Railway and Overground

Style guidelines and pantone references can be found online at

Underground Map
You can take inspiration from the iconic tube map or
You can use the Underground map as a base for a design either by

  • Cropping the map so that you just use abstract sections
  • Cropping the name to use a single station
  • Cropping the map to use small sections
  • Cropping the map to use lines
  • Using the whole map

When you crop the Underground map please remove all half station names or floating words
from the reproduced section.

  • Abstract Sections
  • Small Crops
  • Line Names
  • Line Diagrams
  • River Thames
  • Small Sections

Poster Art Collection
Posters have been commissioned for the Underground since 1908 not only for information
purposes but also to advertise leisure travel on the Underground.

Many Underground Stations are close to major London attractions and your design could be
based on the attraction nearest the Underground Station – I would suggest the packaging or
information on the design mentions the Underground Station.

You can take inspiration from the Poster Art Collection which you can see online on the
London Transport Museum website

Johnston Typeface
Edward Johnston was commissioned to design a bespoke sans serif typeface for the
Underground in 1916 and this typeface is still used today.