Alan Fletcher

More from my back files: graphic designer Alan Fletcher, creator of images on postcards Max Vasilatos sent me in 2008 and 2009.

On Fletcher, from Wikipedia:

Alan Gerard Fletcher (27 September 1931 – 21 September 2006) was a British graphic designer. In his obituary, he was described by The Daily Telegraph as “the most highly regarded graphic designer of his generation, and probably one of the most prolific”.

Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Fletcher moved to England at age 5, and studied at four art schools Hammersmith School of Art, Central School of Art, Royal College of Art (1953–1956) and lastly Yale School of Architecture at Yale University in 1956.

… A book of his designs, Beware Wet Paint, was published by Jeremy Myerson in 1994. Fletcher also wrote several books about graphic design and visual thinking, most notably The Art of Looking Sideways (2001), which had taken him 18 years to finish.

Graphic designer is a job title related to (fine) artist, cartoonistillustrator, and caricaturist, among other things. As I’ve pointed out of this blog, the lines are not entirely clear, and many people do work of more than one kind.

In general, graphic designers create visual material for practical, usually commercial, purposes: logos, packaging, ads, signage, posters for events, etc. But the original purposes and uses of this material can easily become lost. I  don’t know where the poster writing is thinking in ink came from or what it was for, but the sentiment and the visual are effective separately as well as together:

(#1)

Fletcher produced memorable logos — for Pirelli and the V&A Museum, for example — but he also created many designs turning on speaking and thinking, for example What’s in a Name? and Fuzzy Thinking. And I Have Nothing to Say and I’m Saying It:

(#2)

For #2, I discovered its source via a borrowing in another medium: music. From Wikipedia:

Readymades is the tenth studio album by Chumbawamba. It continues the eclectic mix of techno, rock and folk of their former albums, albeit to a less ambitious scale than WYSIWYG. It also features vocal samples from contemporary and traditional folk artists, some of whom Chumbawamba would go on to work with in the future.

… The album’s title refers to the use of everyday objects as art by Marcel Duchamp.

The album’s artwork pays a homage to the I Have Nothing to Say And I’m Saying It poster designed by Alan Fletcher, which was in turn a self-portrait of German Dadaist John Heartfield (born Helmut [Herzfeld]).

Two feet in Dada, Duchamp (on this blog, here and here) and Heartfield (a political artist, both anti-Nazi and anti-Fascist).

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