TfL design boss leaves amid roster shake-up

Transport for London’s group design manager Innes Ferguson is leaving TfL next month, in the middle of a design roster shake-up.

Ferguson will be replaced by Jon Hunter, whom TfL is promoting from his post as head of design.

Hunter will begin his new job the day after Ferguson’s departure on 6 May. The five-strong graphics team that Hunter has headed since 2006 will then merge with the 12-strong 3D design department. The role of head of design will cease to exist, as Hunter will oversee the 2D and 3D sides of the design operation.

‘I came from a product design background, but Hunter has a branding bent,’ Ferguson points out. ‘If someone from outside TfL had come in, I would have been worried.’

‘[Hunter] will be at the vanguard of delivering the Mayor of London’s cycle-hire scheme, cycle highways and the Legible London wayfinding scheme,’ says Ferguson.

Before leaving, Ferguson plans to help draw up the shortlist for TfL’s three-year design roster review, which is now in the pre-qualification stage. About 200 consultancies have submitted expressions of interest.

‘We are looking to make announcements about shortlisting in the next few weeks,’ says Ferguson.

Ferguson gave his notice two weeks ago, bringing to an end 12 years at TfL, including eight heading up the design team. On 8 May he is emigrating to Australia, where he plans to live and work in Sydney.

He is currently considering two new roles there, one at Sydney’s City Rail company, where he would develop a new metro system involving ten new stations. The other is a planning role, integrating Sydney’s ‘transport, leisure and work’ systems.

Hunter says he intends to ‘continue TfL’s high standards of design … [including] in the Mayor’s cycling initiatives’.

Frameworked consultancy Priestman Goode is tendering to retain its place on the product design roster.

‘[Ferguson] has been a brilliant design champion, which is crucial to that role, and as an industrial designer he really understands the processes involved,’ says a Priestman Goode spokeswoman. ‘I hope that Hunter will be a similarly good spokesman for design.’

TfL projects in the pipeline

• London bike hire scheme, with design by Minale Tattersfield

• Legible London, with design by Applied Information Group

• Cycle highways

Latest articles

Remembering Jon Daniel: 1966-2017

We look back on the life and work of the Design Week columnist, independent creative director and social activist “who helped put black participation on the political map”.