• Gfs01
  • Gfs02
  • Gfs03
  • Gfs04
  • Gfs05
  • Gfs06
  • Gfs07
  • Gfs08
  • Gfs09
  • Gfs10
  • Gfs11
Graphic Design

Art on Paper Since 1885

Posted by Will Hudson,

Earlier this week we were invited to view the work from the GFSmith archives in the impressive surroundings of 33 Portland Place, an eighteenth century London town house. Spanning 125 years the event documented over one hundred years of iconic design and marketing innovation by GFSmith including work by Saul Bass, Peter Saville, Sir Peter Blake, Milton Glaser and Rankin.

The hugely impressive archives are a real testament to the dedication GFSmith have shown towards paper stocks for such a long period of time and we caught up with James Groves to find out more about the event…

What’s the reason for the exhibition and what’s on display?

The event is about bringing people together to experience a different side of GFSmith. Many people are aware of our product ranges and services. We were very keen to show that we are an innovative business and their seemed no better way than to show this innovation through 125 years of history. The printed archives on display date back 111 years, however our archivist is discovering new pieces all the time.

Having spent time with the archives what are the most interesting pieces?

I personally think their are highlights in every case, new ways binding, folding, and multiple printing techniques. Our visitor comment book shows that their is no real clear winner in terms of a design favourite. That said the work in the 40s and 70s offers a real highlight for me, for their use of copywriting, illustration and typography.

As GFSmith move forward what can we look forward to from the next 125 years?

I think you’ll see a passionate company with a constant desire to innovate.

GFSmith Design Archives runs until Friday and is by appointment only, please contact event@gfsmith.com

Wh-300

Posted by Will Hudson

Will founded It’s Nice That in 2007 and is now director of the company. Once one of the main contributors to the site he has stepped back from writing as the business has expanded. He is a regular guest on the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Events View Archive

  1. List

    As one of the most fundamental visual tools, creatives use colour in a multitude of ways. It’s Nice That is excited to be partnering with G . F Smith for three evenings exploring how an eclectic mix of visual practitioners think about colour and harness its power. They will take place across the UK and each evening will also feature an exclusive screening of the Colorplan film Bright Red. The exciting line-ups we have helped curate for the events are:

  2. List

    An elegant townhouse in central London has been transformed into a multi-storey, multi-sensory celebration of Italian style and culture. The House of Peroni, which opened last night, boasts a host of retro-inspired creativity – inspired by 1963, the year Peroni Nastro Azzurro was launched – and it brings to life a stylised version of la dolce vita.

  3. Main

    I love Pick Me Up, especially the private view. Fine cheese, meats, booze and the best illustration and graphic arts you can hope for under one roof. In its fifth year the festival seems to have graduated from being a trade fair at which members of the public could by prints and knick knacks they wanted to hang in their kitchen, to being a place that celebrates the true craft of the world’s youngest and most talented artists.

  4. List

    We’ve featured Brinkworth’s beautifully designed skate parks on the site before when they launched Nike’s BaySixty6, a community project under London’s Westway that invited people of all ages to pick up a deck and try their hand on the ramps. The initiative was such a success that Brinkworth have become something of an authority on skate park construction and have since been invited to create a temporary set-up at the Old Selfridges Hotel, located inside Selfridges department store.

  5. Main

    A lot of websites and magazines have technology and creative digital media as the forefront of their coverage. I never really got it before, until visiting Resonate festival in Belgrade last week when suddenly it dawned on me: turns out technology really is the future. Whoops!

  6. List

    It’s that time of the year – the YCN Professional Awards are now open for entries and once again competition is sure to be fierce as the freshest creative talent at work around the world battle it out for the prestigious prizes.

  7. Virginatlantic1

    Somewhere in the financial district of Manhattan, Virgin Atlantic are quite literally flying the flag for Britain with Fabergé’s second Big Egg Hunt, which follows the resounding success of the inaugural event in London two years ago. Over 250 eggs have taken residency across New York for the month of April, with familiar creative names such as Tracey Emin, Oliver Jeffers and Shantell Martin have all transformed the blank canvas of a shell provided.

  8. List

    What’s the only thing better than a celebration of Italian style and culture? A celebration of Italian style and culture with a retro twist, that’s what, and Londoners are in for that very treat next month with the return of The House of Peroni. Visitors stepping through the doors of 64 Lincoln’s Inn Fields in Holborn will be plunged into a world of all things italiano featuring food and drink, fashion and design.

  9. List

    Last weekend we were honoured to be invited to speak at Dublin’s OFFSET festival; a three-day feast of creative insight and inspiration. More than 2,000 people flocked to the Irish capital for talks, panel discussions and live interviews and it was amazing to be part of a line-up that included the likes of Jessica Walsh, Marian Bantjes, Marina Willer, Richard Turley, Mike Perry, Richard Mosse and Jon Burgerman.

  10. List

    Creative conferences come in all shapes and sizes and they all have different reputations, but Dublin’s Offset is renowned for its combination of great speakers and a super-fun informal line-up.

  11. List

    By this time of January, most people have started to add caveats to their well-intentioned New Year’s Resolutions. I won’t drink on weekdays. When there’s a full moon. Unless I hear a dog bark. But if your plans for 2014 extend to something slightly more ambitious then digital education start-up Steer have just the thing for you.

  12. List

    The Barbican’s current show is all about examining the relationship between all-conquering cultural phenomenon Pop Art and the design world, and when it comes to graphic design in particular, few people are better qualified to discuss the creative culture clash than Nigel Waymouth. As part of the legendary (and perfectly-named) Hapshash and the Coloured Coat design and music collective, Nigel and his partner Michael English helped revolutionise the way we see posters as an art form. Their colourful, psychedelic screen prints for the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd were a huge part of establishing the visual vernacular with which we still associate London in the Swinging Sixties and the significance of their work was confirmed when the V&A Museum held an exhibition of their posters at the turn of the century.

  13. List

    It’s Friday, which means we’re starting to get a little delirious here in the It’s Nice That bunker. The heating’s turned up to an anaesthetising 30 degrees and we’ve got some nondescript house music blasting from the stereo. The only thing we need to complete the picture and really get this Friday party pumping is some kind of memey-cat-themed brilliance to keep us entertained until it’s time to crack open some cheap Dutch lager and greet the weekend with open arms. What’s that Hungry Castle, you’re putting together a project that combines cats and lasers and art and explosions and is set to premier at next year’s ADC Miami Beach Festival? Well yeah, of course we’d like to see it. “Meow, meow, peow, peow. Boom!”