April 6, 2018
British transport authority looks to grow its brand beyond the borders of the U.K.
TfL already has a robust licensing program in place in the U.K. that covers everything from souvenirs to high fashion collaborations. Now the group hopes to build its program abroad with the help of one or several licensing agents.
The organization, working in tandem with the London Transport Museum, manages an archive of thousands of historic documents and icons. Among these are the Underground Roundel logo, the Underground map, the family roundels, more than 6,000 graphic art posters, more than 200,000 photographs, fabric designs, a film archive, the Johnston font, architectural and engineering drawings and a canteen archive.
As the group looks to build its licensing activity internationally, these assets have been divided into three development areas for merchandising:
- Designed for London: Assets inspired by TfL's heritage but developed for the contemporary design market.
- Icons: Products based on iconic assets like the Tube map and roundel design concept, targeted to the high street and souvenir market
- Trends: Of-the-moment products in fashion, footwear and cosmetics that draw on Underground assets.
TfL already has a robust licensing program in place in the U.K. that includes:TfL already has a robust licensing program in place in the U.K. that includes:
- Souvenir and gifting items from licensees such as Paperchase and Asda including stationery, kitchenwares, bathroom accessories, posters and more.
- Homewares and décor that includes a series of hand-painted lights based on the Underground map from NUD, fabrics from Kirkby Design (part of Romo), tiles from Fired Earth and plans for a branded cutlery and crockery line inspired by London Transport's famous canteens and their Griffin logo.
- Fashion and accessories including the diffusion apparel brand Roundel London from licensee Slam Jam, which is now available at high-end retailers including Machine A and Goodhood (London), Colette (Paris), Luisa via Roma and the White Gallery (Italy) and Isetan (Japan). Licensee InVogue has released a line of branded eyelashes and plans to add nail polish and gift sets in the near future.
- Collaborations with other iconic British brands including Mr. Men and Little Miss for a new book that sends the characters on an adventure set in London.
- Concepts are in place for a series of "derivative" brands including Baker's Treat, a play on the well-known Baker Street Tube stop that is targeted to the kitchen and baking markets; Turnham Green, which targets the home gardening market; and Barking for the pet sector.
The group is also developing an Underground-branded food and beverage concept that would capitalize on the brand's international name recognition and association with British culture.
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