Tom Eckersley exhibition at LCC

An exhibition of Tom Eckersley’s poster work is to be staged the London College of Communication in January, marking the centenary of the British designer’s birth

Poster designed for the Ministry of Housing and Local Government’s ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaign, 1963, published by the Central Office of Information

An exhibition of Tom Eckersley’s poster work is to be staged the London College of Communication in January, marking the centenary of the British designer’s birth…

Eckersley (1914-1997) set up the school of graphic design at the London School of Printing (now LCC) and his recognisable style was used in campaigns by copanies and organisations as wide-ranging as Guinness, London Transport, the General Post Office, the United Nations, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the Worldwide Wildlife Fund and the LCP itself.

An RAF cartographer during the Second World War, Eckersley was awarded an OBE in 1948 for his service to poster design and became one of the first British members of the Alliance Graphique Internationale. He remained at the LCP for over 20 years and was head of graphic design until 1977.

The LCC houses the Eckersley archive and the show will include 40 posters, made from the 1940s to the 1980s, and selected from the UAL’s collection. The show will also include a selection of preparatory artworks and materials created for the LSP.

“Nowhere is Tom Eckersley’s legacy more keenly felt than at LCC, where graphic design teaching and research are rooted in the college’s first undergraduate degree course he established in 1954,” says professor Lawrence Zeegen, the LCC’s dean of the school of design.

“As 21st century communication design and media races ever onwards, finding a moment to pause and reflect upon the discipline’s past, amidst the barrage of multi-disciplinary, multi-platform, multi-layered visual messages, is increasingly relevant. It is crucial in our understanding and appreciation of communication design’s past, present and future.”

Seven of the posters which will be exhibited in January are shown here. For more of his work, see the London Transport Museum collection and the VADS archive.

Tom Eckersley: Master of the Poster, January 11-29 2014, 10am – 5pm (closed Sunday). London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6SB.

100 Years of Printing Education poster promoting a historical lecture at London College of Printing, c1985

Graphic Design Works poster promoting an exhibition of work from the London art schools
at the Whitechapel Gallery, 1975 (Inner London Education Authority)

‘Urgent please return that library book’ poster, 1975 (University of the Arts London)

Greetings poster celebrating the New Year, 1983

Equus: Visual Interpretations poster promoting an exhibition of student work at the National Theatre, interpreting the play Equus, 1981

Long Hair is Dangerous health and safety poster for London College of Printing, 1976

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