Most people involved in the design world are aware of Alan Fletcher. His name is synonymous with excellence in creative thinking. So is Pentagram , the design studio he founded. As far as famous graphic designers go, especially in the post-war era, he’s at the top of the list.
Alan was born in Nairobi, Kenya but moved to England as a child. He went to numerous design schools where he studied art and design, then ended up working in America before settling back in England. During his student days he met Colin Forbes and Theo Crosby, both highly influential to his career.
Fletcher / Forbes / Gill
On April fools, 1962, Fletcher and fellow Briton, Colin Forbes started a design studio with an American designer, Bob Gill. Aptly, they called their new studio Fletcher/Forbes/Gill. The two most important developments that came out of F/F/G from a designer culture point-of-view was the book they co-authored called Graphic Design: Visual Comparisons and founding the Design and Art Directors Association or “D&AD”.
Of course they did more than just author books. One particular project they were noted for their Pirelli poster. Believe it or not, etching out images for composition in poster design was a new technique back in the 1960′s. The Pirelli poster was one-of-kind typographically speaking, and I have to say distorting a brand’s logo has never looked so good as in this poster.
5 years on, Gill would leave the trio and move back into freelance work which opened the door for South African born architect and all-round creative, Theo Crosby.
Crosby/Fletcher/Forbes & Pentagram
And so a new trio continued where the old one left off.
One of the more recognizable pieces of work was the Reuters corporate identity in 1965.
Alan Fletcher created the logo out of a base grid comprised of 84 dots which was inspired by teleprinter. A teleprinter was an old point-to-point device used to quickly communicate news. Well, it was quick back in 1920, not so much today. Perhaps this was it’s downfall. The teleprinter used a punch system to display characters. At the time it was simple and easily identifiable as well as being cost effective to reproduce. It lasted 31 years before being re-branded.
The C/F/F group continued to thrive and new partners joined the group. In 1971 they decided that they wanted a name that represented their company collectively and not just three individuals. It was Fletcher who came up with the name “Pentagram”, which is a 5 pointed star. He was quoted as once saying: “Nobody liked it much but we settled on it anyway.”
Logos & Branding
A few of the identities that Alan Fletcher created during his career as a designer.
The Art of Looking Sideways