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Typeface used across transport network updated – but can you spot the difference?

The typeface used on signs across London’s transport network has been updated – but you will need sharp eyes to spot the difference.

Can you spot the difference (except for the colour) between these two typefaces? The new one is on the right Credit: TfL

Transport for London say the change is "subtle" and has been designed for the digital age.

New symbols, such as # and @, have been created for the typeface, called Johnston100.

TfL typeface updated – but can you spot the difference? Credit: TfL

The iconic Johnston typeface has been a familiar sight on public transport in the city for 100 years.

The original typeface was commissioned by London Transport’s managing director Frank Pick in 1913, with calligrapher Edward Johnston designing it.

It was last refreshed in 1979.

Over the past 100 years, Frank Pick’s vision and Edward Johnston’s typeface has served London well.

TfL is committed to protecting this legacy and over the years we’ve worked closely with designers such as Eicchi Kono and most recently Monotype Type, to make subtle changes to the typeface.

Releasing the updated Johnston100 typeface is an important step forward. This will start appearing across the network later this year in a number of guises and plan to announce the first place it can be seen on the Underground very soon.

We hope this version of the ‘lettering of London’ for the digital age, will last for another 100 years and beyond.

– Jon Hunter, head of TfL design

The new typeface also includes five different weights – or thickness – to suit different forms of communication, from mobile phone applications to more traditional posters.

The new typeface has five different thicknesses Credit: TfL

It’s a technical skill, and it’s also a testament of technology, in that it is able to render and print very delicate lines.

We were able to capture the contemporary trend and the fashion of having something very light and very elegant, but because we are still using the original structures, we were able to maintain the soul of the typeface.

– Nadine Chahine, director Monotype Type