Magazine article The Spectator

Books

Magazine article The Spectator

Books

Article excerpt

Few artists are such superb designers as Edward Bawden (1903-89). The 1930s represented a highpoint in book illustration and the allied design arts in Britain, but Bawden was perhaps their greatest exemplar, a consummate professional who also excelled as a painter, mostly in watercolour. He thoroughly understood printing and typography, was a printmaker of consistent inventiveness, and loved books. Some of his finest commercial work was carried out as publicity material for that great English institution, Fortnum & Mason.

Bawden made his first drawing for Fortnum's in 1932 and continued on a regular basis throughout the Thirties, designing decorations for seasonal catalogues, menu cards and envelopes. He worked first for the advertising company Stuart's, and then in the Fifties his association with Fortnum's was revived under the auspices of Colman, Prentis & Varley. …

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