The term 'graphic design' wasn't invented in London (we have American type designer William Addison Dwiggins to thank for that) but the Royal College of Art had a hand in making it cool. When the RCA started its Graphic Design course in 1948, out went the old world of the 'commercial artist' and 'poster artist', in came the professional graphic designer: a multi-skilled practitioner tackling everything from brand logos to tube stations. The likes of David Gentleman (Charing Cross Underground murals) and Alan Fletcher (V&A logo) cut their design teeth at the college in its early years. The course was such a success that, in 1963, a retrospective of its first 15 years was held, featuring an early film by Ridley Scott and the set for the BBC's 'Quatermass and the Pit'.
A guide to 'Graphics RCA: Fifty Years' at the Royal College of Art
Last autumn, the RCA opens its treasure trove of posters, prints and designs
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