• Fletcher-lead1

    The Alan Fletcher Archive (all images © Paola Fletcher and Raffaella Fletcher 2013)

Graphic Design

The new Alan Fletcher Archive reminds us of a phenomenal design talent

Posted by James Cartwright,

It’s easy to forget that Alan Fletcher was one of the founding fathers of Pentagram. Since the release of his 2001 treatise on visual language, The Art of Looking Sideways, he’s risen to the ranks of art and design deity, lauded for his experimental approach to design and consistently playful imagery. Right up until his death in 2006, Alan worked prolifically from his west London studio, producing personal and commercial work in his inimitable style that traded in traditional design standards for something altogether more approachable. As a result it’s hard to picture him suited and booted, going to and from client meetings to present himself commercially.

Trying to encapsulate his remarkable career within a few simple paragraphs is a hopeless task, and simply should not be attempted. But archiving Alan’s lifelong body of work online, for all to experience, is a project we’ve been excited about witnessing since we heard of it at Kemistry Gallery a couple of years ago.

Together with Sarah Copplestone, Alan’s daughter, Raffaella Fletcher has just launched the first iteration of The Alan Fletcher Archive, a comprehensive resource of the great man’s work that brings together his universally known later work with a vast array of lesser-known projects from his younger years. There’s even a nod to some work completed immediately after leaving university that suggests the handiwork of a man still learning his craft.

Alongside the images are a selection of written pieces on Alan and his work as well as information about the individual projects themselves. For a Fletcher fanatic this site is a treasure trove of inspiration, and for those who don’t know him yet it’s a great place to lose yourself for a couple of hours and find out about one of the UK’s greatest designers.

  • Fletcher-1

    Alan Fletcher: Postcards: Dorset Square, The Pelham, Durley House and The Enterprise Bar & Restaurant

  • Fletcher-2

    Alan Fletcher: Postcards: Dorset Square, The Pelham, Durley House and The Enterprise Bar & Restaurant

  • Fletcher-4

    Alan Fletcher: Postcards: Dorset Square, The Pelham, Durley House and The Enterprise Bar & Restaurant

  • Fletcher-6

    Alan Fletcher: Postcards: Dorset Square, The Pelham, Durley House and The Enterprise Bar & Restaurant

  • Fletcher-5

    Alan Fletcher: Postcards: Dorset Square, The Pelham, Durley House and The Enterprise Bar & Restaurant

  • Fletcher-7

    Alan Fletcher: Beware Wet PAint

  • Fletcher-3

    Alan Fletcher: Conference for Islamic Solidarity Identity

  • Fletcher-9

    Alan Fletcher: Conference for Islamic Solidarity Identity

  • Fletcher-14

    Alan Fletcher: Conference for Islamic Solidarity Identity

  • Fletcher-13

    Alan Fletcher: Conference for Islamic Solidarity Identity

Jc

Posted by James Cartwright

James started out as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our two editors. He oversees Printed Pages magazine and content wise has a special interest in graphic design and illustration. He also runs our online shop Company of Parrots and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. List

    Featured back in January, Barcelona-based studio Querida has had a busy few months churning out more of its stylishly colourful and well-considered design work. One of its latest projects is this catalogue for Spanish opticians, Optiques Prats which takes the form of an incredibly stylish magazine catering for the optically challenged.

  2. List

    It’s wonderful when graphic design perfectly unites two seemingly disparate concepts – and Commission Studio’s branding for a Lewes-based homeware brand is a quietly brilliant example. The project saw the London studio (which designed our 2013 Annual) create the look and feel for a range of delicate, subtle pieces like candles and soaps with a name that deliberately sounds anything but delicate and subtle – Freight.

  3. Listtttt

    There’s a whole heap of great design studios in Barcelona with which we’re very familiar but it’s always a joy to discover talent we haven’t come across before. Such is the case with P.A.R, a graphic design and art direction studio run by Iris Tarraga and Lucía Castro. The way they talk about their approach eschews any kind of bullshit, as they write on their website: “Our methodology is simple: We listen to our clients, we understand their needs and we solve them. Our style is clear and direct, we take care of the balance and harmony in our designs, we use typography and colour accurately, we believe in functional design.”

  4. List

    We were lucky enough to meet some of the team from Singapore studio Foreign Policy when they popped into It’s Nice That HQ during a recent research trip to London. The same friendly, curious and open-minded approach that led them to drop us a line has also seen them develop The Swap Show, “an exhibition exchange between design studios and creative agencies from cities around the world designed to showcase and celebrate creative work internationally.”

  5. List

    It’s tricky to implement the intricate tricks of an optical illusion in a book cover design without the finished product appearing slightly heavy-handed, but designer Hansje van Halem does it with poise and perfectionism. She’s worked as a freelance graphic designer since graduating from Amsterdam’s Gerrit Rietvield Academie in 2003 (as her About section explains) and her enjoyment of what others might find to be repetitive shines through in the illusory patterns in her portfolio.

  6. List

    As serious art and design journalists, we’re not distracted by mere baubles. But when said bauble takes the form of an online game (think Space Invaders meets graphic design portfolio) then who are we to resist. It’s one of many trinkets to be found on karlssonwilker’s terrific new website, which shows off their work in the best possible light and confirms their status as one of the most accomplished design studios working today.

  7. List-0102-0103-0105-triptych-%c2%a9-david-shaw

    When the Design Museum planned its Women Fashion Power show, which opened last month, it was very much keen to take the “women” component seriously, appointing them to take care of both the exhibition design and graphics for the show. As such, it drafted perhaps one of the most famous women in design’s practices, Zaha Hadid Architects for the exhibition design; with Lucienne Roberts and her team (Dave Shaw and John McGill) at LucienneRoberts+ creating the graphics.

  8. List

    Based in Manheim, Germany, Deutsche & Japaner have a really great sense of what looks good. They have been on the site a couple of times for their stylish graphic design but this work for the Aesthetics Habitat project shows off a bit more of their own personality. The site is described as “a venture all about meeting objects with a personal interpretation, transforming its function and creating narratives” and in essence its curators invite creatives to respond to and reflect on their relationship with a favourite thing of beauty.

  9. List-flyers-for-the-institute-at-sexology.-photography-by-russell-dornan_-design-by-liam-relph-(3)

    London’s Wellcome Collection space always hosts explorations of the things that fascinate us most. It’s covered death, it’s exhaustively explored the human body in all its glory and grotesquery, and now it’s moved on to surely the most fascinating of all – sex, or more precisely, how people have studied it.

  10. List

    Brimming with sophistication and an understanding of what makes great design, Atelier Tout va bien’s portfolio is a glorious way to scroll away the day. The studio is made up of French design duo Anna Chevance and Mathias Reynoird, and it’s the pair’s editorial, poster and book design that really stands out.

  11. List

    The It’s Nice That team recently discussed which discipline we cover on the site would we most like to be brilliant at (it’s the kind of thing we do to wile away the final, dragging hours of these dark winter afternoons). After the appropriate amount of consideration (charts, cost/benefit analysis and the like) I plumped for book cover design and that led me down a little book-design-reminiscence and that led me back to Linda Huang.

  12. List

    Another day, another well-crafted, interesting identity for a topic that isn’t perhaps the most instantly exciting. This time, bringing us issues like “sustainable urban energy planning” and “urban transitions management” (we admit we’re not too sure what this means), is this identity for Sustain, by Filimonas Triantafyllou. Sustain is an academic platform to host discussions between different universities in Europe and Asia about their research into sustainability issues, and it’s refreshing to see Netherlands-based graphic designer Filimonas take such a pared-back, colourful approach to the subject matter. The graphical treatment uses different typographic word-marks for each of the topics being addressed, with each symbol reducing these rather complex issues into a simple motif.

  13. List

    Eschewing the usual white-paged minimalism, Berlin gallery Neumeister Bar-Am boasts a charming identity inspired by all things postage. The gallery is housed in an old Post Office space, and Slovenia-born, Berlin-based designer Neven Cvijanovic of Floor5 chose to look to its former home in designing the identity, using a colour scheme referencing that of the Deutsche Post, working with art director Marek Polewski on the project. The flexible identity system uses icons that recall mail stamps that adapt to each show for use on invites; while other collateral like stationery and business cards are more pared-back. It’s great how the theme is subtle, yet direct – especially in little touches like the yellow tape.