New Johnston typeface: OpenType format files

The request was refused by Transport for London.

Dear Transport for London,

This is a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Would you please provide the OpenType format files for the New Johnston typeface?

If you believe this is exempt from such release to the public, please specify the exemption on which you rely. Thank you very much.


Dr Kaihsu Tai

Kaihsu Tai left an annotation ()

The New Johnston typeface licence from Transport for London is here:

Enquire (TfL), Transport for London

1 Attachment

Our Ref: TFL106510

Dear Dr Tai,

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London on 17 June.

You have requested the OpenType format files for the New Johnston typeface

We will deal with your request as soon as possible and in any case provide
you with a response by 15 July.

In the meantime, if you have any queries or would like to discuss your
request, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards

Lee Hill

Customer Relations Officer

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Enquire (TfL), Transport for London

Our Ref: TfL106510

Dear Dr Tai,

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 16 June

You have requested the OpenType format files for the New Johnston

Your request has been dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act and I can confirm that TfL does hold the information you
have requested. However, TfL is not obliged to supply any of the
information you have requested, as it is subject to the following
statutory exemption to the right of access to information:

* Section 43 – Commercial Interests

TfL is applying this exemption because the New Johnston typeface is
TfL’s corporate typeface and is our copyright property. TfL and its
subsidiaries use the font, and allow companies working with, or for, TfL
to use the typeface under licence. We do not normally allow external
organisations or third parties to use New Johnston.

As a consequence, disclosing our New Johnston typeface format files –
which, despite the copyright protection, would essentially enable other
parties to use the typeface without TfL’s permission – would be likely
to prejudice TfL’s commercial interests by diminishing the exclusivity,
distinctiveness and marketability of the TfL/London Underground brand –
of which the typeface is an integral element.

Our typeface forms part of our corporate identity and helps ensure that
the general public know the information or services provided are supplied,
or endorsed, by TfL or its subsidiaries. There is therefore a strong
public interest in restricting and protecting external use to maintain the
continued trust in our information and services that TfL and its
subsidiaries provide. Aside from promoting the general principle of free
and open data from public authorities, there are no public interest
factors in favour of disclosure of this information. As such, we consider
that the section 43 exemption applies.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to

Yours sincerely

Lee Hill

Customer Relations Officer

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made the original decision, in accordance with the complaints procedure
published on our website at [1]

Requests for internal review should be addressed to:

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E-mail: [2][email address]

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A complaint form is available on the Information Commissioner’s Office
website at [3]

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Greg left an annotation ()

There is a commercially available font by P22 known as 'Underground Pro' which accurately (and legally) duplicates the appearance of New Johnston. It's available from for $299

Kaihsu Tai left an annotation ()

I recall seeing this font software, licensed from Transport for London, being available for sale in the shop of London’s Transport Museum (as the London Transport Museum was then called). Perhaps there is a change in policy since.

Yoz left an annotation ()

The typeface for sale in the Transport Museum is the original Johnston Underground from 1912. New Johnston, created in 1979, is the typeface now used across all TfL signage.