Tom Eckersley is one of the foremost British poster designers and graphic communicators of the twentieth century. From the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaign to advertisements for Gillette and Guinness, VADS is pleased to announce that a further 100 images from the designer’s archives have now been made publically available online.
Keep Britain Tidy Campaign poster by Tom Eckersley, 1963 © Ministry of Housing and Local Government
Eckersley used bold simple designs, coupled with memorable slogans, for iconic brands such as Guinness; General Post Office; British Railways; London Transport; and Gillette. Eckersley was also a teacher of poster arts and established the first graphic design course in Britain at the London School/College of Printing (now College of Communication, part of University of the Arts London).
Gillette advert for razor blades by Tom Eckersley © Gillette
‘Lovely day for a GUINNESS’ by Tom Eckersley © Diagio
This latest addition also includes a number of Eckersley’s artworks as well as other printed items. His artworks allow us to see how he created his images and developed his style from realistic portraits to paper collages. His 1930s and 1940s work is reflected in these early drawings, with light colouring that appears sprayed on as opposed to his later artworks that are so reminiscent of his designs from the 1950s onwards which use block colours.
Pen drawing of Mary [Eckersley's wife] by Tom Eckersley © Eckersley Estate
The non-poster printed items show his versatility as a designer, being as he is primarily known for his poster art. Featured are such diverse items as newspaper illustrations in the expressionist style to light-hearted party invites featuring multi-coloured animals and motifs. These items include works created in partnership with Eric Lombers, Eckersley’s design partner before World War Two.
The collection was formed by Eckersley and is held at the University of the Arts London Archives and Special Collections Centre.
Tiger card by Tom Eckersley, 1982-3 © University of the Arts London
The archive has been digitised by the University of the Arts London and made available online through the ‘Enhancing VADS’ project, funded as part of the Enriching Digital Resources programme from JISC.
For more information and to search and browse the collection, please see the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) website at: http://www.vads.ac.uk/collections/TEC