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Ian McLaren: Stories of a Graphic Designer

16 November 2022 6:00 pm

Penguin Books, the Munich Olympic Games and Refugee Connections: Ian McLaren in conversation with Anna Nyburg about his life and work

On Wednesday 16 November at 6pm, graphic designer Professor Ian McLaren will talk to design historian Dr.Anna Nyburg about his illustrious career at Penguin Books and beyond.

Ian McLaren has had a rich and varied career starting during the pre-digital days of graphic design. He took the unusual step of studying at the Ulm School in Germany, based on Bauhaus principles, despite knowing no German. Celebrated for his work at the 1972 Olympic Games, he also worked widely in the field of book design, for Penguin Books and beyond, where he came into contact with celebrated designers such as Italian-born Mauthausen survivor Germano Facetti and Polish-born Holocaust survivor Romek Marber. He will also talk about his professional and personal encounters with émigré artists and designers, Francis Carr, FHK Henrion and Willy de Mayo.

Professor Ian McLaren attended the influential Ulm School of Design and in the 1960s designed material for CND, The National Theatre and The Arts Council. He also designed many book covers for Penguin and Puffin before joining the Munich team in 1970. After Munich he moved to Paris, where his practice designed visual identities for UNESCO, Lyon Metro and the Centre Culturelle Georges Pompidou. He later went on to teach at various universities including the Glasgow School of Art and De Montfort Universities.

Dr. Anna Nyburg is an Honorary Lecturer at Imperial College London, where she taught languages for some 30 years. She is a committee member of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies and a trustee of the Insiders/Outsiders Arts Foundation.. She is the author of a biography of the émigré artist Hellmuth Weissenborn, a book on the émigré contribution to British art publishing and another on the refugees’ contribution to British fashion. Two of her essays appeared in Insiders/outsiders: Refugees from Nazi Europe and their Contribution to British Visual Culture. She has also co-produced a film about refugee designers entitled ‘Refuge Britain.’


Image: Pelican book covers by Ian McLaren


16 November 2022
6:00 pm
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