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Richard Hollis, one of the UK’s most influential graphic designers, writer and teacher famed for his pioneering work for John Berger’s book Ways of Seeing and the Whitechapel Art Gallery.
Designer, teacher and author Richard Hollis was born in London in 1934. His design education began at Chelsea School of Art in 1952, was interrupted by National Service, and resumed at Wimbledon School of Art, which he left in 1957. He went on to attend evening classes at Central School of Arts and Crafts. This was, he says “theonly place in England where you could learn modern typography”. Near the school, in a tiny Holborn flat he began silkscreening wallpapers and posters while also working as a photo-engraver’s messenger.
Although mainly freelance, in the early 1960s Richard was employed in Paris as publicity designer for Galeries Lafayette and later went on to design the quarterly journal Modern Poetry In Translation, became the art editor of the weekly magazine New Society and later created John Berger’s Ways of Seeing. He also designed the visual identity and marketing materials for the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London (1970-72 and 1978-85) and co-founded the School of Design at West of England College of Art. He published his most famous book, Graphic Design - a Concise History in 1994, and his most recent work, Henry van de Velde: The Artist as Designer, was published 2019.
Richard went on to have a distinguished career at UAL, notably as Head of Graphics at Central School and tutor of Lithography and Design at London College of Printing and Chelsea School of Art.
In 2005 he was made a Royal Designer for Industry.