Autumn 2021

Poster man and boy

Tom Eckersley: A Mid-century Modern Master

By Paul Rennie. Batsford, £25

Paul Rennie’s Tom Eckersley: A Mid-century Modern Master is a fascinating account of Eckersley’s prolific output as a designer and educator, lavishly illustrated with more than 200 works spanning five decades.

‘Mid-century Modern Master’ must be the most bestowed title in historic design criticism, but it does feel fit in the case of graphic designer Tom Eckersley – though perhaps we could expel the ‘master’ soon?

Owing to his reserved but friendly nature, Eckersley is an enigmatic figure, and with little detail of his private life on record, Rennie focuses on the broader industry and socio-economic contexts for his work. Given Eckersley’s active years from the 1930s to the 1970s, a period of continual evolution of the status and role of design, Rennie’s book is as much a story about Eckersley as it is about the key developments and figures of modern British graphic design, taking in print technology, politics, commerce, commissioners, training and designer-led networks …

Tom Eckersley

Olivia Ahmad, artistic director, House of Illustration, London

Read the full version in Eye no. 102 vol. 26, 2021

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.