In his book Picturing & Poeting Alan Fletcher says, "The 0 in the number 10 on the black door of the British prime minister's house at 10 Downing Street is wonky. Take a look when you next see a newsreel."
He's correct. And I know why.
It's supposed to be so that when you look down the street (from Whitehall) you see the door at an angle and the 0 looks straight. Like this.
Do you think it works?
Thank heavens for that is all I can say. Could you just imagine the trouble it would cause otherwise? I mean, there's Bush, off to meet the PM about someone thing or other and he gets to the gates at the end of the road, looks to see if he can see no.10. And instead sees, well, no 10, but with a wonky O. Well, that's enough to confuse anyone.
Who ever came up with this had way too much time on his hand.
That said the paint finish is bloody impressive
Posted by: simon | Nov 21, 2006 at 11:54
Have a look at the Number 10 website - even the favicon http://www.pm.gov.uk/favicon.ico has the wonky O.
Maybe, just maybe, somebody invented corporate identity before designers came along.
But I wonder what's the carbon footprint of keeping that door that shiny?
Posted by: David | Nov 21, 2006 at 12:21
No. But then again nothing on the other side of the door works either.
Posted by: grahamsalmon | Nov 21, 2006 at 15:11
The door is enamelled steel though.
While you're on about a carbon footprints, I once heard the walls of Downing Street are painted black because it used to be covered in soot from London's smog. Since the Clean Air Act, the soot started to wash off and by this point the black walls were kind of iconic, a trademark if you will. So they painted it black.
I like the story anyway, even if it's false.
Posted by: Aegir Hallmundur | Nov 22, 2006 at 14:32
there is always the official explanation:
which also confirms the story of the black walls.
Posted by: thunk. | Nov 25, 2006 at 12:20
...looking at the second picture, you can still see it's wonky! It's quite a silly idea really because you can still see it's an 0, doesn't matter whether its wonky or not. Great blog by the way, I first found it whilst searching for info on Alan Fletcher, there's no shortage of Alan Fletcher on here!
Posted by: Sian | Oct 26, 2008 at 23:46