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Tom Eckersley: Godfather of Modern Graphic Design

Design // Thursday, 14 Aug 2014
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Clean layouts, clever lines and bold colors, Tom Eckersley is the confirmed godfather of modern graphic design. We are really in to posters here at Juxtapoz. And who better to ponder over than the godfather of poster art, Tom Eckersley. Eckersley pioneered graphic design’s modern identity.

In 1954, Tom Eckersley set up the UK’s first undergraduate graphic design course at what was then the London College of Printing (LCP), now known as the London College of Communication (LCC). His students included the unstoppable wildman Ralph Steadman and advertising’s legendary Sir John Hegarty. He was Head of Graphic Design at the College from 1957 until 1977 and while there, Eckersleydesigned posters to inform staff and students, for example one reminds students to return overdue library books! He completed commissioned work for The United Nations Children's Fund, the World Wide Fund for Nature and the National Business Calendar Design Awards and Cooks. As both a practitioner and a teacher, Eckersley and his designs and teachings remain incredibly relevant to the changing world.

LCC dean of design Lawrence Zeegen said in a statement, “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.”

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