CR Blog

Remembering Nic Hughes

Graphic Design

Posted by Creative Review, 17 December 2012, 10:56    Permalink    Comments (13)

Nic Hughes was a designer, writer and educator who died of cancer in October, aged just 44. As well as fighting the disease, Nic's last few months were also spent battling insurance company Friends Life which has refused to pay out on his critical illness policy leaving his family in great difficulty

Thanks to the actions of his friends and family, Nic's case has been picked up on by the wider media, with supportive stories in the national press and on Channel Four News. A petition on asking Friends Life to pay out has now attracted nearly 58,000 signatures (details here).

As well as highlighting Nic's case, we'd like to remember his work. Steve Collins, a friend of Hughes, has put together some examples of his work on a Flickr collection here. Steve has given us permission to reproduce the images in this piece.

In common with a great many designers of his age, Hughes created a lot of club flyers in his early career, especially for the London club Abundant, for whom he also produced a zine (below)




Logo for Grace church, with rejected work for dbass records above. 1996


Vaux flyer 1999

Vaux flyer, 1999

Projection for Vaux, 2002


In the late 90s, Hughes moved to the in-house design studio at Getty Images under the creative direction of Chris Ashworth. Among other projects, he worked on the book Soon, a visually-led investigation into the future of brands edited by former CR editor and publisher Lewis Blackwell.


Hughes also worked at Spin and at Saturday, after which he studied for an in MA Critical Practice at Goldsmiths which led to a teaching position at LCC. In 2011 he left LCC to join Andy Campbell at Norwich University College of the Arts, teaching on the Graphic Communication course. He also wrote frequently and intelligently on design via his Haunted Geographies blog.


Nic Hughes photographed in 2005.

Everyone at CR would like to pass on our condolences to Nic's family and wish them all the best in their fight with Friends Life. To sign the petition, go here


What a fantastic feature about a great guy and talented designer. Please sign the petition!!!
Peter Reynolds
2012-12-17 12:13:34

Thanks for running this feature CR. More info on the #NicsFight campaign on the URL below
2012-12-17 14:08:12

Brilliant Guy and Brilliant Designer, an honour to have worked with Nic at Spin and also to have been his client at Saturday. Petition signed. Cx
Carrie Neely
2012-12-17 14:36:12

Thank you so much for putting this together. Nic was a friend and it has been amazing & emotional to see his work again, especially the club flyers, which represent a big part of our lives. Thank you to all at Creative Review for your support for NicsFight.
Karen Barnett
2012-12-17 22:00:34

Holy Fuck. Taught me first year LCC. Lovely guy, im shocked.
2012-12-17 23:59:41

grace is a church! but we always fancied being a record label ;)

i've added a few more items to the flickr set to pick up some of nic's 'later' ideas, now that it's getting so much more attention than i'd anticipated.

[btw the link in the blog entry goes to the first image not the set itself]
steve collins
2012-12-18 00:48:21

@ Steve

Apologies, that's been fixed
CR PatrickBurgoyne
2012-12-18 10:07:09

Nic was absolutely lovely and ridiculously talented. He was one in a million.

I had no idea he was battling cancer.
Matthew Ingram
2012-12-18 13:29:47

I had the privilege of working with Nick at Saturday. He was a brilliant, kind and dedicated man. I was devastated to hear the news in October. Everyone who reads this, get behind the petition. Nick deserved better!

Jens Grede
Jens Grede
2012-12-19 13:25:05

I didn't have the pleasure to work with Nik, but got to know him at little at NUCA.
It's a credit to CR to celebrate him and his work
2012-12-20 13:50:36

I only found out today. Many years ago I worked with nick at Getty, he was always genial and an extremely talented graphic designer. A great eye but also a unique wit that he brought to his work.
V sad to hear this news.
Chris Kelly
2013-03-28 18:55:41

My son Chris just told me about Nic. His family should get all the support they need. And this is from a cancer survivor.
2013-03-29 00:26:54

Again can I ask the insurance company to help Nic's family. I have had cancer and I just hope no one in your family in your insurance company ever has to suffer cancer. Nic's family should be getting all the financial support. And this is from a 70 yr old person. Nic had his whole life ahead of him. Go help his family Friends life. You are not honouring your company's name. Dorothy
2013-03-29 08:36:44

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