I completed a two-year foundation course at Winchester School of Art before studying for a Diploma in Art & Design at Chelsea School of Art, Manresa Road, London. I sketched many London landmarks as a student at Chelsea including St Batholomew’s and St James’s Palace. My graduation project – Canterbury Pilgrimage – was the beginning of a future in the compilation and visualization of publication ideas and flowcharts, as well as explanatory illustrations in my professional career as an editorial designer. My early childhood interest in drawing and my time at college combining the study of graphic design with illustration led to commissions for newspapers, books and other media. About a year after graduating from Chelsea School of Art, I did some illustrations for the Sunday Times newspaper, and later other publishers. My contact at the newspaper, an old college friend, put me in touch with someone at the Reader’s Digest Association in London. On the strength of these illustrations and my graduation project about pilgrimages to Canterbury, I was taken on to work as a designer on the Treasures of Britain publication. Working for five years with experienced art editors, copy editors and ex-journalists from Fleet Street helped enormously in developing my editorial design skills.
Editorial design involves researching a subject and understanding it in order to produce a synopsis, devise a visual concept, visualize illustrative material and execute the design for a product, in my case publications. The first two phases have always been particularly important for me because striking the right balance between visual impact and clarity, and accuracy are paramount to communicating the subject matter of the particular publication.
Through this work I have had the privilege of meeting eminent specialists in various fields including scientists at the Natural History Museum in London, Francis Crick, joint 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, and J.B. Priestley, novelist, playwright and broadcaster, and his archaeologist and writer wife Jacquetta Hawkes. Below are some examples of projects I have worked on over the years...
After five years at the Reader’s Digest it was time to move on and I joined a small group of designers who had been brought together to visualize illustrative material for Mitchell Beazley’s proposed encyclopedia Joy of Knowledge. We started off at Artists House in Manette Street, just round the corner from Foyles Bookshop. The team expanded rapidly and we moved to larger premises in Soho with Giovanni Caselli and other fantastic Italian illustrators also working on the project. It was here that I met Peter Kindersley (later of Dorling Kindersley fame) for the first time.After a brief diversion into the world of fashion as art director of an independent fashion magazine OVER 21, I was asked to join Peter Kindersley and Christopher Dorling in their new book-packaging venture. We worked day and night in Kindersley’s home in South London, on storyboards and visuals for a number of proposed titles to be presented at the 1974 Frankfurt Book Fair. This was a really exciting time, working with such committed entrepreneurs brimming with ideas at such an early stage of what was to become the emporium of the renowned illustrated reference books sold all over the world today.
During the last years prior to Bill & I moving to The Netherlands in July 1978, I worked on various projects at the concept and/or production stages of the publication.