This month is a small cause for celebration: three and half decades of design consultancy. There are a few companies around from those days still bearing the same names and still with a founder involved in the business, but not many.
It’s been a rocky ride at times, but the business is still there and it continues to survive and thrive.
It all started back in the sixties when John Lloyd and I were students at what was then the London College of Printing. We graduated in 1968, the ‘soixante huit’ of student unrest, the ‘summer of love’ and all that. It took us till the mid seventies to make the leap and start on our own. Rather like now it was a period of slow economic recovery, and starting anything seemed either brave or stupid, perhaps both.
At the time, anniversaries seemed significant and when we had survived our first year in business we celebrated by opening a bottle or two of champagne, thus starting a tradition. The photo above shows dated corks from the first 15 years’ anniversaries.
After 10 years we started recording anniversaries with the design and distribution of t-shirts to our friends and clients. For some these became collectors’ items, with a few surviving today.
In our 15th year we all flew to Paris for the day – the kind of extravagance that was expected of a successful design group. This photograph records the event. Here we are in front of I M Pei’s newly opened Louvre pyramid. It was a good, and as I remember it, very long day.