London’s Blue Plaque scheme was founded in 1866, and is thought to be one of the oldest projects of its kind in the world. It was taken over by English Heritage in 1986, but was previously managed by the (Royal) Society of Arts, the London County Council and the Greater London Council. The first commemorated the birthplace of Lord Byron, on a property in Holles Street, near Cavendish Square, which was later demolished in 1889. The plaques themselves are handmade and can take up to two months to produce. New additions are considered three times a year by a panel that includes Barbican managing director Sir Nicholas Kenyon, poet Andrew Motion and Professor Brian Cox.
If you’ve ever been to a railway station in London then it’s likely that you’ll have encountered Lloyd Northover’s work. The consultancy, which was founded by John Lloyd and Jim Northover in 1975, created the wayfinding and signage for Railtrack in 1999, including a set of beautiful but now hard-to-find pictograms for fourteen of the capital’s stations. Other landmark projects include rebranding Plymouth, creating an online presence for the Design Council and The Royal Navy, and developing the identity for much-loved retailer John Lewis.