I've been following All On The Board on Instagram for a while now - I love seeing their messages pop up on my feed; some are funny, some are poignant, and some are inspirational. I found out via their page that they've put together a collection of those boards into a book, so I bought a copy.
My biggest thought on reading this book is that the format you read it in is important. I read the Kindle version and came away from it feeling strongly that it would work much better as a physical copy coffee-table book. The digital offering felt a little lacklustre for my liking.
As far as I'm aware (I could be wrong) this isn't a book of new content, but more an assembly of boards that have already been on their social media feed (I'm sure I recognise some of them at least). Because of this, I was expecting to see photos of actual boards they had written, rather than the artwork boards that were included, which stripped away some of the personal touch that i've come to love on their Instagram.
Speaking of the personal touch, I really enjoyed the intros to each chapter - a couple of short pages on each topic from both members of the duo (N1 and E1). it was a brilliant way of getting to know the people behind the boards a little better. The sincerity and honesty in their words is evident, and really makes you feel like they'd be great to have a coffee with.
The chapters themselves gave some much-needed but still fairly loose structure to what would have otherwise been a collection of thoughts that felt too random and scattered. The COVID chapter in particular was a great way of capturing real-life thoughts and feelings on a challenging moment in our history for posterity.
It was nice enough reading through this book, but my overwhelming impression is that their boards work much better on a social media platform than in a book. Don't get me wrong, I still love what they do, but a book doesn't feel like the right medium. If you do really want it all in a book, then I would recommend a physical hardcover copy to flick through rather than the digital version.
A BOOK TO BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY - A GIFT OF HOPE, COMFORT, POSITIVITY, OPENNESS AND LOVE FOR ANY OCCASION - INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES FROM THE TFL UNDERGOUND DUO
Transport for London employees and dynamic masked duo, All on the Board (aka Jeremy and Ian), made it their mission to bring smiles to the faces of London commuters through writing creative messages, quotes and poems on the underground's service information boards. 'We were tired of looking at a board that just said "keep right" and thought can't we do something a bit more fun?'.
Fast-forward 3 years, they've grown a community of 750,000+ online fans and have a plethora of celebrity supporters. Through their magical words, they've marked momentous occasions, celebrated countless artists, legends and heroes, raised awareness of mental health and hidden illnesses and sprinkled thousands of our daily journeys with positivity, humour and love. Their kind messages remind us all that we're in it together and now, with their beautiful, colourful collection of quotes, stories and drawings you can add joy to your day wherever you are and however you're feeling.
You can buy the book here now. It was published by Yellow Kite.