Project Description

Group Exhibitions

Many exhibitions have involved the work and contribution of Romek since the early days of his design practice. This list is drawn from letters, books and Romek’s CV but is not comprehensive. Samples of Romek’s work are held at the V&A Archive of Art and Design and at the Design Museum Archive. If you know of any other exhibitions not listed, or have any photographs or material relating to any shows please get in touch.

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.

Rick Poynor
Professor of Design and Visual Culture
University of Reading

Photographs © Barbican Art Gallery

Designs on Britain, Jewish Museum
In 2017 I co-curated an exhibition, also held at the Jewish Museum, entitled ‘Designs on Britain’. I had always admired Romek’s work and was honoured to include it in the show. He was in good company as one of eighteen brilliant textile, product, graphic and type designers. They had all sought refuge in London during or after WW2 and with their new modernist ideas and techniques they miraculously transformed design in twentieth-century Britain.

Searching through Romek’s archive held in the Victoria and Albert Museum felt like being a child let loose in a sweet shop. There was so much to choose from but gallery space was limited. It was difficult to determine what pieces of work to include in the show and sadly, what to leave out. Romek had designed over 70 striking green Crime and other Penguin covers and of course, Penguin’s new ‘Marber Grid’. His fresh and advanced approach to paperback cover design in the 1960s and 70s was a definite must and made a valuable contribution to the exhibition. Read more

Naomi Games
Graphic designer and author

Top image © Jewish Museum London

Art Out of the Bloodlands
Open from 28 June until 17 September 2017 the Ben Uri Gallery in London held an exhibition of Polish refugee and migrant artists and designers who made a contribution to British life and culture over the last century. The story of both celebrated and lesser-known Polish-born artists was told though works selected from the Ben Uri Collection and from institutions, galleries and private collections. Marber was represented with a selection of his Penguin Crime covers. Curated by Rachel Dickson, Head of Curatorial Services at the Ben Uri Gallery.

Five British Graphic Designers, Milan, Italy
In June 1968 Germano Facetti asked Romek to submit samples of work for an exhibition showcasing British graphic design in Milan and Rome. Crosby / Fletcher / Forbes, Germano Facetti, Hans Schleger, Henrion Design Associates and Romek Marber participated. Ten one metre by one metre panels of work were mounted and sent to the organiser and architect Silvio Copploa and an accompanying brochure in a card wallet was produced. Romek attended the opening of the show in Milan on 18 October 1968.

Romek Marber standing next to Alan Fletcher

Typography in Britain Today
To accompany the magazine Typographica 7 the publisher and printer Lund Humphries held an exhibition of thirty seven graphic designers including Romek at their offices in Bedford Square, London from 1 – 15 May 1963. In the entrance hall the Dutch designer Piet Zwart was celebrated, and in the main room the invited British designers, who each submitted a selection of work arranged over three panels, was displayed. Their work, biographies and article by Herbert Spencer was in Typographica 7 May 1963. Click here to view the magazine.

Typographica 7 May 1963. Click here to view the magazine.