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Colour photograph of a big moment when the designer Ian Logan, seated in his sitting room, sees the printed proofs of his book Logomotive for the first time.

A Big Moment

It’s always a big moment when the printed proofs of a book arrive. You open the box, smell the fresh ink and see for the first time how your book looks. If this is exciting for a publisher, it is even more so for an author.

One special Sunday a film crew arrive at Ian Logan’s house in London, ready for a big moment. They set up lights, tripods, cameras, microphones and booms. Next comes a publisher carrying a box. In the box are the first printed proofs of Ian Logan’s book Logomotive. Add a guitar, a love of American railroad songs and a designer’s passion for logos and locos in the Big Country and this is what you get:

Since he arrived in America for the first time in 1968, and saw the huge logos painted on the sides of trains, the designer Ian Logan has had a secret passion. Returning year after year with his camera, he has built up a historic archive of railroad logos on Kodachrome slides and printed ephemera. His collection stands testimony to the American railroads at the height of their power. Travelling their tracks across the prairies, he revels in their bold advertising and muscular locomotives, thrills to their lonesome whistles and glamorous movie stars. It is one of the greatest stories in the history of transport, told in his book Logomotive.