Friday, 5 February 2010

Alan Fletcher

Yesterday I wrote a super short blog on my opinions of Alan Fletcher's exhibition at the Cube Gallery, it did the exhibition no justice at all so here is a full on long winded version complete with pictures.

For people who don't know who Alan Fletcher is, or who want to know more about him the I suggest reading his obituary in the times archives. I barely knew of Fletcher outside of the fact that he had created the incredible book 'The Art Of Looking Sideways' but visiting the exhibition has taught me a lot about the man and his work. 

Born in Nairobi, educated in Britain, married to an Italian, Further studies in the US with Paul Rand, then back to the UK to work with peers Forbes and Gill before helping to set up Pentagram and ultimately leaving Pentagram to work on more personal projects. Work from all stages of his life and career were documented in the exhibition, making for a nice range of work displayed. 

The main theme running through Fletcher's work seems to be simple ideas executed well. This is what we, as design students, have been trying to learn over the past few years and seeing so many examples in one place was certainly inspiring. 

My personal favourites from the work on show were some letterheads using neat, simple typography. Unfortunately I didn't get any photos of these but you'll have to believe me or go see for yourself. They personified the idea of neat, memorable, clever design. 

Here are a bunch of photos from the rest of the exhibition. 
I love this because of its simple use of colour and image. The type isn't overpowering and it all sits nicely together.
This promotional piece for the Fletcher/Forbes/Gill trio is a nice piece of promotional material. We discussed the possibility of producing a book like this for our end of year show, difficult to pull off for 70 students but could be quite nice. I like how we're still impressed and inspired by this about 50 years after it was made.
This picture of Arran shows a lovely extended alphabet created by fletcher, I didn't realise at the time that they were actually created into a gate for his house...A very unique typographic solution to something that was never a typographic problem. Also if Arran ever release a CD this would look great on teh cover I think

I really like these postcards of New York burned and distressed to remove the World Trade Centre Towers. Fletcher was in New York at the time of the attacks and quickly set about accruing 30 different postcards depicting the towers before altering them to fit in with the new New York skyline. A poignant, interesting memento of one of the biggest moments in recent world history.
To finish with here are two more images. I've always liked statements, the following poster mixes humour and great design together to lovely effect. Considering how much I dislike the colour yellow, it's impressive I chose to put this image up.
to finish here are some Q's a letter that is seldom used, but it is nice to look at.
Also a thank you to Alex Hoggarth for letting me use his pictures of Arran and the 9-11 postcards. I haven't asked him if I can use them yet but I'm sure he wont mind.

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