Alan Fletcher's archive goes online
Phaidon.com has a new favourite website - created by the great graphic designer's daughter Raffaella
The design fraternity is still mourning the loss in 2006 of British graphic designer extraordinaire, Alan Fletcher. Witty, warm and inspiring, he had been a graphic force to be reckoned with for over half a century. And now his incredible archive of work - including many of the designs he came up with as Art Director of Phaidon - is online at alanfletcherarchive.com.
Having studied at London’s Royal College of Art and Yale University’s School of Architecture and Design, he, Colin Forbes and US graphic designer Bob Gill set up the graphics agency Fletcher/Forbes/Gill. This eventually morphed into Pentagram in 1971, where he stayed for two decades, leaving in 1992 to go solo as Alan Fletcher Design.
Two of the most recognisable identities that he got under his belt include Reuters and the V&A museum, and in 1994 he became art director of Phaidon Press. His 2001 book The Art of Looking Sideways is, to this day, a must-have for many designers.
Three years ago, Fletcher’s daughter, Raffaella, who helped run his Notting Hill home studio during his lifetime, set up Fletcher Studio specifically to maintain her father's Work and Play archive. “We want this to be the very best collection of Alan's creative legacy,” she says.
The site is helpfully laid out, giving the casual browser or the avid user different ways of finding things. You can search through by genre – collage, lettering, pictures – by subject – animals, flowers, people, words – by context – ads, books, logos, posters, signage – or by client, (which is the biggest section by far). There are also some nice homages and writings from the cognoscenti, such as Emily King, Mike Dempsey, Craig Oldham, David Bernstein, and Steven Heller. Definitely worth a delve and the site also features a number of links to buy Alan's great books for Phaidon as well as some of his other equally beautiful commercially available designs. All in all, it's a site that really does honour his legacy.