Wednesday, June 4, 2008

ALEC - Alan Fletcher

“The most highly regarded graphic designer of his generation, and probably one of the most prolific.”

The Daily Telegraph

Alan Fletcher

Born in Nairobi in 1931 was prominent graphic designer Alan Fletcher. He studied at four cosmopolitan art schools in his early twenties including the Central School of Arts alongside the influences of Colin Forbes and Theo Crosby whilst under the teachings of Anthony Froshaug. In 1956 he transferred to the Yale School of Architecture and Design where he would Study under and draw influence from the bright colours and clean shapes of prominent graphic designer Paul Rand. During the next few years he immersed himself in his studies, absorbing as much American graphic design as he could.

Back in the depressing 40 watt gloom of London he formed the ironically successful design company Fletcher/Forbes/Gill. With clients such as Pirelli, Penguin Books, Reuters and a studio off Barker Street they became the most fashionable designers in London.

The changing world around him was reflected in his works with a shift away from the thin serif style typography of the 30s and 40s towards more thick and condensed typefaces. This was evident in his cover for Fortune Magazine. In other designs, Fletcher experimented with collage, bright, flat colours and bold clean shapes.

Fletcher’s poster for Pirelli exemplifies his bold and colourful work and a penchant for creative typography. It is a simple and elegant manipulation of text depicting a swerving car tyre. His use of dark blue against a light peach background conveys feelings of intelligence, stability, unity and confidence all of which are necessities when marketing a performance car tyre.

Another work which epitomises Fletcher’s style is the logo for the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is simple clean and effective. His choice of Bodoni font meant that he could manipulate the way each letter interacted with each other creating a logo and overall effect that fit its purpose so well it is still in use today!

Fletcher’s prolific portfolio spanned well into the 80s and 90s including the publications of the monogram ‘Beware Wet Paint’ in 94 and ‘The Art of Looking Sideways’ 2001 which will serve as a memento and inspiration to many young graphic designers including myself.


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