What Is The City But The People?

Publication

what-is-the-city_1.jpg
what-is-the-city_2.jpg
what-is-the-city_3.jpg
what-is-the-city_4.jpg
what-is-the-city_install-4.jpg

Campaign

what-is-the-city_install-1.jpg
what-is-the-city_detail.jpg
what-is-the-city_install-2.jpg
what-is-the-city_install-3.jpg

Text

What is the city but the people? was a book and poster campaign we worked on in collaboration with Jeremy Deller in 2008 and 2009. Combining his artistic practice with elements of social intervention and experimentation, the project provided Tube drivers and operational staff on the London Underground with a booklet of quotes1 to use in their daily communications with the public. The passport-sized booklets’ design references the graphic language of corporate instructive texts and pocket guides. They were given to operational staff on the Piccadilly line from February 2009 onwards.

To accompany the booklets and announcements, we also designed a series of posters which displayed a selection of key quotations and explained more about the project to the public. What is the city but the people? aimed to generate a more positive atmosphere on the Tube during peak times, and also encouraged the many voices of the London Underground staff to re-enter the environment of the network, bringing some of the personalities that have made it famous to the fore once more.


  1. Drawing upon a wide range of philosophical, political and historical sources, the quotes present a thought-provoking rumination on life in the city.