Ken Garland Artwork
1 minute read

Design hero: Ken Garland

Good designers are a naturally curious bunch and take inspiration from a wide range of sources.

Looking up from the screen occasionally and responding to the world around us through constant inquiry makes the work better and us better people also.

We've been talking about our design heroes in the studio of late. And since we're able to go to restaurants again, the classic conversation starter - whom, if anyone, would we like to invite as dinner guests? Designers across all disciplines popped up in these conversations - all influential to our design practice - and we will be celebrating our heroes in a series of articles and projects in our Journal.

First up is the late great Ken Garland, one of our time's most influential and principled designers. Ken’s work is synonymous with mid-20th-century Britain; Galt Toys, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and Keniston Housing Association, among others. As a prolific writer and educator, Ken also produced five books on design and, as Garland fans will know, published many influential articles, including the First Things First manifesto in 1964

The brilliant folks at Unit Editions have made their 2012 monograph, Ken Garland: Structure and Substance, available to download for free as a PDF. Long sold-out, the book covers everything from Ken’s student exercises at the Central School of Arts and early work on Design magazine to the many client projects completed with Ken Garland & Associates from 1962 onwards (such as Galt Toys and CND) and his self-published books of photography.

Further reading:

Remembering Ken Garland - Wallpaper

Reputations: Ken Garland - Eye magazine

Adrian Shaughnessy on Ken Garland - It’s nice that

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