Category Archives: Graphic Design

Alan Fletcher

Described by The Daily Telegraph as  ”the most highly regarded graphic designer of his generation, and probably one of the most prolific”, Alan Fletcher, (1931- 2006) was a super-star of the graphic design world. With his own unique, simple and very elegant stamp on all his work, Fletcher designed and illustrated innumerable projects (many of which are still in use today),  founding the leading design firm of the era, Pentagram Design Studio. Below, one of Fletcher’s first coups early in his career was to design a Fortune Magazine cover in 1958…

alan fletcher, fortune cover, 1958

alan fletcher, domus cover, 1959

Fletcher was prompted to design this cover from a quote by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, ‘The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his clients to plant vines’…

alan fletcher, domus cover, 1995 alan fletcher,  domus cover, 'technological graveyard' 1994

an ad he designed for Pirelli slippers at his design firm Fletcher, Forbes, Gill in London in th early 60′s…

alan fletcher, ad for pirelli slippers

alan fletcher, 'shopping' for london buses

alan fletcher, 'grey'

alan fletcher, wild flowers

design by fletcher, forbes, gill, 1963

alan fletcher, naive.

alan fletcher, collage

Alan Fletcher, Designers Saturday 1982

Fletcher designed a pair of iron gates for his London home in 1990, constructed from the letters of the alphabet, with the bottom of the ‘Q’ forming the gate stop. Apparently, the gates became one of the landmarks the local police used to train new recruits for local orientation. Thanks EssG for the photo…

alan fletcher, gates, from essgee

alan fletcher, abc gates

…his logo design for The Victoria & Albert Museum says it all about him: elegance, simplicity, and wit…

alan fletcher V&A logo


and his logo for the Institute of Directors

iod, alan fletcher

“I’m more interested in wit than humour. Humour is entertaining, but wit makes you look at something in a different way. Buster Keaton said that a comedian does funny things; a good comedian does things funny. The second is more subtle.”

alan fletcher, sheep …his cover design for the ubiquitous ‘The Art Book’…

alan fletcher, cover for 'the art book'

…and one of my favourite books, which can also be used as a door-stop, ‘The Art of Looking Sideways‘, published by Phaidon, is chockful of Fletcher’s sketches, ideas and finished products. Always inspiring…

alan fletcher's 'the art of lookings sideways'

…read a post on him at the Design Museum

alan fletcher

…read an article by Mike Dempsey here, his obits by Michael Bierut here and at The Guardian and The New York Times. All thanks go to the Alan Fletcher Archive for sharing their images… This
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Advent Calendars

An imaginative advent calendar by illustrator Sara Fanelli  and uber-designer Thomas Heatherwick

fanelli:heatherwick advent card

sara fanelli, advent calendar 1

advent card 2, sara fanelli:thomas heatherwick

advent card 3, sara fanelli:thomas heatherwick

sara fanelli, advent calendar 2

…Thanks Mike Dempsey & Hugh Dutton. Below,  a selection of antique advent calendars made between the 1920′s to 1950′s, with a fantastic collection to be found at MerryThe’sChristmas

by Else Wenz-Vietor…

advent calendar 1928

die christrose, 1928

A. Jahn, Dresden, 1947…

a. jahn, dresden 1948

Ruthilde Busch-Schuman, 1935…

ruthild busch-schumann, 1935

M. Drechsel, 1950…

marianne drechsel, 1954

Ursula Ortlieb…

ursula ortlieb, advent calendar

Fritz Baumgarten, 1930′s…

advebt calendar 2


advent calendar 1952

fritz baumgarten, 1930's

advent calendar 1957

das adventsdorf, 1962

Willi Harweth, 1935…

willo harweth 1960

and Gudrun Keussen…

advent calendar

…see my previous post on more contemporary advent calendars here This
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Paul Rand

The words of graphic design master, Paul Rand (1914-1996) still ring true today: ‘Don’t try to be original, just try to be good’…

paul rand, the condemned of altona, 1963 paul rand, the transposed heads

paul rand, men who do nothing but think

“ideas do not need to be esoteric to be original or exciting.”

paul rand, thoughts on design

paul rand, what would life be? paul rand, telephone

“Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations.”

paul rand, art directors club

paul rand, 1962 paul rand, sparkle and spin paul rand, the aquisitive society

paul rand, 1970

…read an essay by Steven Heller on Paul Rand the painter at TheDesignObservatory

paul rand, painting 2

paul rand, painting

paul rand 1954 painting

 …speaking of a logo design, he says it “cannot survive unless it is designed with the utmost simplicity and restraint.”

paul rand, IBM logo, 1962

paul rand, logos

…check out a Flickr site on Paul Rand and his many products… This
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