New exhibition celebrates Roundel's revolutionary identity for British Rail

"In 1987, trains with strange, geometric markings 
were seen speeding through the night on British 
railways.  The coded insignia of Railfreight, based 
on fighter plane markings, hauled the image 
and fortunes of this moribund British Rail division
 into the future," so goes the introduction to Design for Rail, a new exhibition at D&AD that follows the making of Roundel's revolutionary identity system, celebrating what was a moving brand ahead of its time.

The four-day event, which launches officially this week, has been curated by Bryan Edmondson of London studio SEA Design to celebrate an identity system that has inspired generations of graphic designers.

Of course, the show is extremely nostalgic for Edmondson, given that his first job after graduation was at Roundel; he happened to join the team just as they launched the iconic Railfreight brand.

Design for Rail goes on show from 22-26 February 2018 at D&AD on Cheshire Street, London E2 6EH. Entry is free. Find out more at


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