After designing a Facebook App for a well known, celebrity-endorsed crisp manufacturer we’re very much in the Great British spirit here at Fiasco. In a year jam-packed with specifically British jubilation, we’re taking a brief look at some designers and events that capture something about British design which is worth celebrating.
Having worked on the design for Kenneth Grange’s retrospective Making Britain Modern, I’m quite familiar with his work. The sheer diversity and quality of his career is astonishing. From his 40-year design relationship with Kodak to his one-off designs for the British Railway Intercity 125 train, you can begin to get a picture of how much Grange has really established some of the design successes of today. Gillette, the London Black Cab and Parker Pens all have his signature of long-lasting quality on them, which seems to be accompanied by their British heritage.
Grange was also a founding partner of Pentagram. Now something of a British Institution in itself, they have brought us iconic British Identity designs like UK publishers Phaidon Press and the identity for the Victoria & Albert Museum one of our all time favourite logos here at Fiasco. These well established brands say a lot for British design of previous generations, but what about today?
Right on time, “the world’s greatest museum of art of design” the V&A Museum is celebrating British Design with their exhibition “British Design 1948-2012, Innovation in the Modern Age”. A great variety of work with a diversity of style, they are right up to date with this fascinating video feature “British Design in 2012”. Including interviews with Margaret Calvert on stumbling into a redesign of the British transport system, Graphic Thought Facility and Thomas Heatherwick on the new London Buses.
Jay Osgerby says of British design today that “It doesn’t matter where you go in the world you will find a British designer working there. Whether it’s in architecture, industrial design, fashion design, graphics you know we are everywhere. And so there’s not really a sense anymore, I don’t feel, of British Design it’s more of a kind of good design, but it’s a global thing, it’s not restricted to Great Britain anymore.” Wherever it is, Great British design is alive and kicking in the double dip, let’s just hope some of it stays at home.
We’ve only sampled a slice of the Great British design cake and you’re no doubt hungry for more. What brands or design icons spring to mind when you think of UK creative excellence? Leave us a comment or tweet us to start the debate. Jolly good.