What to see and do in London with my graphic design students?

Small Caps's picture

I'm going to London for a few days with 12 graphic design students in April.
Does anybody have some suggestions on what to see (graphic design, studios, museums, typography etc).
We would also like to visit a printing company, and I would be really grateful , if somebody could come up with a few names for me.

Thanks!

Justin_Ch's picture

I'd suggest the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington. Although there isn't a lot that is a concentrated collection of just graphic design there are lots of great examples of it amongst other good design in the modern galleries. I love the fashion collection and the S.E.Asian collections. 19th Century plaster casts of the Trajan Column and similar monuments displayed in a 19th Century manner. Lovely building. Good bookshop and gift shop. It's free although there are some exhibitions that have an entrance fee.
http://www.vam.ac.uk/

There's a Wim Crouwel exhibition at the Design Museum while you're here.
http://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/2011/wim-crouwel

JamesM's picture

I'm sure there are many design studios in London, but one that pops into my mind is the London office of Pentagram (pentagram.com), a famous international graphic design group. Obviously you'd need to contact them ahead of time to see if they'd have time to talk to your students.

Nick Shinn's picture

The London Transport Museum is good for graphics, from posters to the lettering and ads on vehicles.
And of course the famous Underground map.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

• the Underground
• shop front lettering
• St Bride library (a MUST for typophiles)
• Westminster Abbey (epigraphy)

Victoria & Albert and Transport museums are excellent suggestions.
I always get as much inspired by the breathtaking antiquities collections in the Britisch Museum.
And if some pounds are left, embark on the “London Eye”. It’s worth the money.
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5star's picture

Banksy.

John Hudson's picture

Check out what exhibitions are on at the British Library during your visit. The permanent exhibit of books and manuscripts is always worth a visit, and there are often interesting temporary exhibits.

Small Caps's picture

Thanks for all the great ideas!

1985's picture

Always look up! There is carved lettering to be found all over town.

_null's picture

Head to Brick Lane and up towards Old Street (East End) for graffiti and street art...don't venture too far off the beaten track though...ride any of the overground trains around the south and you'll see some pieces on the warehouses and retaining walls.

The Cemeteries near Highgate might offer some rewards too.

@1985 - good call. Always be looking up, the commercial signage for Chicken Cottage et al is a feature in itself.

I'd split them into groups, it's a big ass city to cover.

flooce's picture

street art, the british library permanent exhibition, and maybe the odd people of the last tuesday society: http://thehendrickslectureseries.co.uk/lectures.html

1985's picture

@ _leigh

...don't venture too far off the beaten track though..

Potential worst case scenario these days is ending up at the Olympic site!

_null's picture

@1985 Heh, even Brixton is calm these days.

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