For the past five years, designer Nicholas Felton has been documenting the minutiae of his life in the Feltron Annual Reports. This year’s Report, however, switches focus to the remarkable life of Felton’s father
Felton describes his 2010 Report as “an encapsulation of my father’s life, as communicated by the calendars, slides and other artifacts in my possession”.
While previous Reports have attracted criticism for their navel-gazing, this year’s is a far more interesting proposition. Instead of the preoccupations of a somewhat self-obsessed graphic designer, it documents a life that tells the story of the Twentieth Century.
Felton’s father was born Günter Fajgenbaum in Berlin in 1931. In 1939, with his two siblings, he escaped Nazi Germany to England. His father stayed behind and died in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1942.
Now officially ‘stateless’, Günter went to school in Grimsby before taking an apprenticeship in a Loughborough engineering firm. He became a naturalised British citizen in 1951.
Shortly afterwards, like many others seeking a new life away from impoverished post-war Britain, Günter left for Canada where he changed his name to the anglicized Gordon Felton. The Report traces this new life as Felton travels his new home country before moving on again, this time to the US.
And there he stays, working as an ‘elevator adjustor’, marrying, remarrying, buying a home and generally living the immigrant dream through the 70s, 80s and into a new century.
In January 2009 Michael Johnson wrote a piece for us on Felton’s reports and that of Christopher Doyle, asking the question’Why do graphic designers find themselves so fascinating?’ Read it here
Subscribers can read Gavin Lucas’s piece on the 2007 Feltron Report here
In September 2010, Nicholas Felton reviewed Barnbrook Studio’s Little Book of Shocking Global Facts for CR. Subscribers can read it here
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