Immigrants who radically transformed British design language to be celebrated in new show

18 October 2017

Designs on Britain: Tate & Lyle boxes

London’s Jewish Museum is showcasing the influential design contribution of Jewish émigrés in its exhibition, Designs on Britain, organised in collaboration with the University of Brighton’s design archives. Opening 19 October, the show will demonstrate “that 20th century design in this country was profoundly shaped by the arrival of these pioneering designers from continental Europe who brought with them a knowledge of European modernism,” says the museum.

“This exhibition celebrates the vital role that generations of immigrants have played in creating the diverse culture and creative economy that we enjoy today,” explains director of the Jewish Museum, Abigail Morris. “It’s fascinating that these fabulous designs, which we think of as intrinsically British, were created by immigrants to the UK. I look forward to welcoming our visitors to see this wonderful exhibition.”

A wide scope exhibition, Designs on Britain will cover graphic design, product design and corporate identities from 20 different designers, who “radically transformed the practice and language of British design”. The exhibition will also be organised thematically across travel, war-time, publishing, toys, vehicles and the 1951 Festival of Britain.

Designs to be featured include Hans Schleger’s London Transport Bus stop sign, the Raleigh Chopper bike and Marble Run toy designed by Tom Karen, as well as several iconic designs for organisations such as London Transport, British Rail, General Post Office, John Lewis, Penguin Books, Tate & Lyle and Schweppes.

Designs on Britain will run until 15 April 2018 and a full illustrated catalogue including commissioned articles will accompany the show.


Designs on Britain: Chopper by Tom Karen


Designs on Britain: Entertainment card by Dorrit Dekk


Designs on Britain: Fireworks Can Blind poster


Designs on Britain: Marble Run by Tom Karen

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About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.

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