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A word in his eye: an interview with Ken Garland

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posted on 2020-02-13, 12:36 authored by Michelle (Griffith University) Douglas
Ken Garland is a British graphic designer, born in Southampton in 1929. He is a prominent leading figure in graphic design since the late 50s and is widely known for his political activist posters for CND and his contribution as Art Editor of Design magazine from 1956 to 1962. Garland studied graphic design at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London (now known as Central St Martins) in 1954 alongside Alan Fletcher and other highly regarded designers of that era. Amongst other things, he was famous for writing the First Things First manifesto in the ICA London in 1964. Backed by over 400 designers and published by The Guardian newspaper, it forced him into the spotlight as an activist for how designers work. His career took him into many interesting territories, including a 20-year stint as the Design Consultants for Galt Toys, not only directing their graphic campaigns but also becoming their main toy designer. He has worked as an art editor, design consultant, photographer, author and lecturer over his long career and continues to work tirelessly in his eighties. He currently lives in Camden, London. Michelle Douglas has been a personal friend of Garland for over a decade and chats to him about his personal views on the evolution of graphic design, design education, pivotal points in his 60-year career while also uncovering insights into his passion for photography and Irish folk singing.

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