December 13, 2004
London Bus Red

The red of the London Bus is the same as the red used in the “roundel” of the London underground - and is the same as the red used to identify the Central Line. It is Pantone 485, CMYK (M:100, Y:91), RGB (223,0,44), or Websafe (CC,00,33)

According to Transport for London’s London Buses Corporate Identity Colour Standards document:

“Carefully controlled use of corporate, mode, safety and London Underground line colours is highly effective in communicating the strengths of our organisation. Consistent use of colour across journey planners, signage and livery etc, also helps guide passengers to their destinations.”

In my mind - London Bus red is a deep and reassuring red that has a particularly pleasing, near-iconic, contrast with the greens and greys of London’s suburbs.

The deep and reassuring red of London’s buses is pleasing to the eye.

Posted by jag at December 13, 2004 10:14 PM

Very true…

London Transport (and now Transport for London) must have one of the most distinctive and most lasting corporate identities anywhere to be found. Here in Germany, everyone knows the roundel and any red double decker is instantly recognised as a London bus.

Posted by: Stefan on December 14, 2004 09:51 AM

Agree with you 100% Stefan. It is quite amazing.

Posted by: Jag on December 14, 2004 09:04 PM

Hmm. All the buses are red.
Here - well, to say the least, they are multicolored.

Some of the buses are white with a single green and blue parallel stripe in them.
Other buses are in a fully dark green or dark blue livery.

Others are painted so as to reflect some celeberation (The Lance Armstrong winning Tour De France and taking the victory lap here)

Other hybrid buses are of completely white and red liveries.

But still, it isn’t very difficult to recognise a Capital Metro Bus - its shape is distinct enough to identify it easily.

Somehow, I miss the doubledeckers.

Posted by: sat on December 15, 2004 05:27 PM

Hi Sat - interesting - I think it’s particularly a “London” thing - as nationally, within the UK, buses are multi-coloured too. It’s just that in London there is a consistent colour scheme.

What’s also interesting about your comment is the fact that you are spelling “colour” in the “American” way … ;-)

Posted by: Jag on December 15, 2004 08:48 PM

I sometimes have to work with graphic designers and it’s hard to define what colour you’re talking about. “You mean a kind of Marlboro red?” they say. Well yes. I’d like to say London Transport red but it doesn’t really ring enough bells.
The Munich trams also came in a uniform mid-blue colour but they changed that with the latest series. In my, London-bred opinion, that was a huge opportunity they missed. The blue they had before had the same potential as the London red. But fools and marketing departments always know better.

Posted by: David on December 17, 2004 02:20 PM

It’s real pity that the Munich bus “blue” didn’t become as iconic as the London Transport “red”.

Posted by: Jag on December 18, 2004 08:03 PM

If it is because of the multicolored word, then I guess that was how I used to pronounce it even further.

I would have never even given it a glance.

Posted by: sat on December 19, 2004 05:08 AM
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