In 2004, I was guest curator of ‘Communicate’, an exhibition about British graphic design at the Barbican Art Gallery in London. In the course of my research, I paid a visit to Romek Marber at his cottage in Stisted. The exhibition’s purpose was to provide an overview – the first of its kind – of work by designers who had chosen to operate independently, on their own or in small teams, from the early 1960s to the present. By focusing on six key areas – publishing, identity, the arts, music, politics and society, and self-initiated work – our aim was to illustrate the vibrant contribution graphic designers had made to British culture. We wanted to spotlight designs that were both highly representative of their moment and some of the finest examples of national creativity in design. There was no question that Marber’s cover designs for Penguin Crime qualified on both counts, as did a poster from 1966, with artfully strobed lettering, for a show titled ‘The Moving Earth’ at the London Planetarium.
Professor of Design and Visual Culture
University of Reading
Photographs © Barbican Art Gallery