A healthy start
My very first art directorship was for the British Clinical Journal, way back in the days when the only colour in a magazine was on the front cover.
Produced while I was a student at the Royal College of Art in the early 70’s, this was a great opportunity to test my design skills and work with illustrators such as Bob Priest, at a time when graphic designers still had rarity value.
Before the advent of computers, design involved a high level of craft. Working on a drawing board with technical pens, pencils and rulers, cutting board and bromide with scalpels and pasting all elements with great precision, was a labour-intensive, skilled operation.
Rather like a doctor with a medical bag, every designer carried their own set of tools which he or she was not inclined to share.
Getting the message across
Information graphics has been a constant theme through our work. I recall the excitement I experienced at the age of six, seeing maps being produced by a mobile army cartographic unit.
The dissemination of information in a clear and concise form is for me central to the practice of graphic design, although surprisingly there are times when designers lose sight of this, and during these periods you can be forgiven for saying ‘If you can’t read the type, then it’s been designed’. In the worst cases, clients believed they could do better, and often did.