This is perhaps the last remaining, used book of matches from the Festival of Britain in 1951. The Emblem is designed by probably the greatest graphic communicator England has ever had, Abram Games. His canon of work is simply staggering. For those curious to know, you will not be disappointed in what you will discover.


“This is a book about what design and image making does, through the lens of one person’s creative endeavour. If it provides some useful clues to others starting out with similar intentions, perhaps with no rudder, beyond the worthy suggestions of tutors, friends and family, then it will not have been a waste of time.”

This book is the culmination of 5 years of work and will be available from the 25. 09. 2015.


I moved house almost a year ago and I’ve still not completely moved in. I have boxes where I don't know whats in them and boxes with things in them that I have no idea why I still have them. 

One such box was full of books, love books. One book in particular stood out, for a variety of reasons. The Man Who Fell to Earth, written by Walter Tevis. A former professor of English at Ohio University and author of The Hustler, which was made into the famous film staring Paul Newman. Great film!

This book was also made into a film, staring David Bowie and Rip Torn. I’ve been reading it again for the first time since 1976 and noticed that the Illustrated cover was produced by Bowie’s school boy friend, George Underwood. I had the pleasure of chatting with George at Brian Grimwood’s book launch in 2012.

For those who are of an Illustrative persuasion you might note the economy of the colour palette and tonal values that have been used. This subsequently frames the face to affect an luminous quality with a central focal point.  The result is a particularly striking book jacket.   

This blog post is perhaps a book review or recommendation. The recommendation is...its a very good read. Even if the film might not be your cup of Early Grey, this is a highly visual and imaginative story. 

Interestingly, the publisher was a little bit previous by declaring on the cover notes that the music for the film would be by Bowie. That didn't actually happen although the album ‘ Low ’ was generally regarded as the sound track that never was.

Happy reading to all, I'll see what else I have
in these boxes.


Its often a chance to reflect at this time of year, and not just because its Easter. Winter has passed and Spring is with us. The end of an academic year starts to come closer and thoughts about the future become more focused in the mind. Because of that, I’m reminded about a piece of text that is worth reading and reflecting upon.  

Generally I like to post images that I’ve found and visuals that can inspire and stimulate. On this occasion I’d like to post a passage of text that is both highly visual and inspiring. I hope that it will inspire you and your thoughts about the future.

Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy

"Desiderata"  - American writer Max Ehrmann [ 1927 ]


Berlin has lots of great Flea markets where you can spend 100's of Euro, and hours, looking through fantastic items that have been brought back from the Russian front or DDR badges, Metal street signs, Posters, Books and 1960's furniture. 

On a bright Sunday morning in the Mitte district I spent several hours at what was the best of the 3 that I visited. If I had a truck I would have bought the lot and driven back home to the UK. As it happened I bought a children's book published in East Berlin in 1958 called, Klapperzahns Wunderelf, Illustrated by Werner Klemke.

Klemke was born in Berlin in 1917. He was a self-taught artist, and was drawing animation between 1937 and 1939. After World War II, he became a contributor to satiric DDR magazine Eulenspiegel.

The Illustrations are wonderfully weird and have are attractively odd quality about them, which was the reason for the purchase.

Enjoy this sample of his work...


Arthur Ferrier's produced a number of strip cartoons including “Spotlight on Sally” for the News of the World and “Eve” for the Daily Sketch. After many years of drawing pin-ups, advertising and a great many cartoons, Ferrier died in 1973.

This post was a clipping I found in the early 1970’s and was taken from a News of the World copy, circa 1945. It was part of a collection of items, ‘Spick and Span’ amongt them. 

Ferrier stopped working for the News of the World in 1959, but continued to do commercial and advertising work. ‘He was a tireless and enthusiastic party-goer and party-giver, noted a friend: He entertained in a large room decorated with his portraits of beautiful women. There would be good food and good wine - and a massive tally of theatrical talent to entertain the happy company’.


The image above is a sketch by Brian Grimwood at one of our recent meetings, produced with the aid of an Apple iPad. Brian is known for his use of traditional media and his fast flowing lines, the dramatic use of colour and the playfulness of ideas. This image embraces new technology but retains the visual signature which characterises his work.

I’m currently working with Brain to bring his soon to be published book ‘The Man who changed the Look of British Illustration’ and Show, to University Campus Suffolk in November. The show will chronicle 40 years of his illustration and graphic communication for clients across the globe. Such as: BBC, Sony, London Transport, The Beatles, M&S, Vogue, Johnny Walker...the list is endless.

As the new academic year looms, to all those I will be working with shortly, start to draw...and be bold.


A sign might be thought of as a form of narrative, but its far more likely to be a regarded or categorised as being a form of instruction. This image, taken on a recent visit to London, demonstrates the creative opportunity to transform one visual signifier into something decidedly different.

Through the use of wit and a wonderful sense of the lateral...in more ways than one, I would suggest that this street sign is now an Illustration and so suggests narrative. What the story is...is up to the viewer, but interpretation is now far more diverse and more imaginative.

I hope that you might enjoy the simplicity and inventiveness of this creative transformation.


After a gap of 30 years I was eventually able to personally thank Ian Pollock for getting me to figure out just ‘...what kind of designer I was going to be’ when I attended the Private View of Brian Grimwood’s book launch exhibition in London, ‘The Man Who Changed the Look of British Illustration’.

Ian has published and illustrated numerous books - starting with Beware of the Cat in 1977, and has designed posters for the Royal Shakespeare Company. His work is often seen in magazines and  has appeared in Rolling Stone, Playboy, Penthouse, New Yorker, Talk, Esquire, GQ, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Elle, Country Life, Radio Times, New Scientist, Creative Review, Design Week, Stern, Sunday Times, Independent, Guardian, Observer, the Financial Times, and Daily Telegraph amongst others.

Ian was just one of a group of great designers and Illustrators who guided and nurtured me as a creative young gun. George Hardie, Bush Holyhead, Connie Jude, Brian Grimwood...and many more, all became my friends and mentors.

One Friday afternoon, back in the day, Ian spent over 2 hours looking at my work and getting my to focus on deciding which career direction I should take. I was given a scheme of work to follow and in 4 weeks I had put together an entirely new Folio. I was going to be an Illustrator. 

I will always be grateful for those 2 hours. 

Illustration :  ‘Save the Pig from Stress‘ IPC Magazine
Selected - Best of British Illustration Annual, 1980/81
Watercolour 1979.

January 26, 2013 at 14:14PM


It's not the presents that make Christmas so special it's the presence of those you love whether they are with you in person, or spirit.

My love and wishes for the now, and the future.


Brian Grimwood and I go way back, we first met in the late 70’s and we’ve been great friends ever since. Earlier this year he agreed to bring his retrospective exhibition of archival drawings, paintings, cover artwork, newspaper illustrations and printed ephemera, alongside more recent work to my Universities Waterfront Gallery.

His free and fluid style first characterised the visual culture of the 1960’s in iconic images such as those created for the influential magazine Nova. His designs have since become synonymous with British and Western popular culture, as evidenced by his covers and brand identities for leading companies including Faber & Faber, WH Smith, Johnny Walker and Radio Times.

Brian is also founding director of the Central Illustration Agency [ CIA ] and has been pivotal in promotion of the work of a host of illustrators from around the world.

The exhibition opens on the 14th November and is on show until early January 2013. You should come, marvel at the work and enjoy.



After a year of meeting with good friends and creative associates, I’m delighted that on the 13th November, the School of Arts and Humanities at University Campus Suffolk will be holding its first creative conference entitled ‘IMAGE’.

Jonathan Barnbrook, Brian Grimwood, Roderick Mills and Jonathan Yeo, will be the speakers at an all day debate and an exchange of ideas about Image, what it is and how they generate Image.

My grateful thanks to each of our speakers and all those who have helped to make this possible.

More information can be found at — www.imageconference.org.uk


As the current academic year ends, so my academic year ended just a mere 31 years ago. 

Like today’s student, we were all broke. In April of that year London sore what was described by Lord Scarman ‘as the worst outbreak of disorder in the UK this century’. 

The United Kingdom was in Recession...Again.

Somehow I found the money to buy that years ‘European Illustration’ Annual. It just meant I lived for a few more weeks on Crawfords crackers and a pot of strawberry jam. Luxury!

The book was an astonishing and inspirational collection of Britons greatest Illustrators. Many of them had been my tutors, one of which had a big influence on my work and my thinking about images.

Bush Holyhead was part of the Hipgnosis design group [ Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, T Rex...] He was to form a working partnership, around that time, with George Hardie and Malcolm Harrison, to be known as NTA.

I can recall Bush working with the band The Undertones, designing the cover for the LP ‘Positive Touch’.  Time can play tricks on the memory but I’m sure he was nominated for a Grammy Award for the work. I think the design for the Rolling Stones album ‘Tattoo You’ won and over a few beers we decided it was fixed.

This is one of his great drawings which was included in that Annual. Many designers and Illustrators of my generation regard his work as being genius. A marriage of pure drawing, surrealism and the comic book. I am honoured to have been taught by, worked with and know the great Bush Holyhead.

Image ‘The Fox’ Watney's Brewe


So the World and his Mother have gone David Bowie mad. For some of us we've been ‘there’ for a long time and we were there at the point of initial impact.

As a part of this ‘Bowiefest’ and for those who are looking for something a little off the beaten track ( spot the joke ) here are some Tracks, that you should check out. Each of these have very   interesting qualities and have helped me, to   shape, the shapes that I’ve drawn over the last 40 years.

Bow Wow Woof Woof...

John I’m Only Dancing...Again (1975 )

Win ( Young Americans )

Lady Grinning Soul — ( Aladdin Sane )

Stay, Live version — ( Station to Station )

Speed of Life, Live 1978 ( Low ) 

Because Your Young, Studio Demo - ( Ashes to Ashes )

All The Madmen  ( Man who Sold The World )

Your Bonus Track:

Portrait in Flesh — ( Diamond Dogs Tour Live LP...All of it )


‘Where are we Now’

Thirty years ago we were all dancing under a Serious Moonlight. This Image of mine was part of a group collection that talked about the idea of Celebrity. I couldn't think of anyone who topped David as the ultimate ' A List Celebrity '. That remains the case still today. So where are we now ?


In my youth I was fortunate to have been exposed to drawings created by  some of the greatest observational image makers of the 20th century. My grandmother was a loyal reader of the Daily Express newspaper and that meant I would constantly be looking at the work of Roy Ullyett in the sports section, Giles cartoons somewhere in the middle of the paper and Norman Thelwell. Known simply as, Thelwell.

In 1953 Thelwell was to draw a pony cartoon for Punch magazine, inspired by his observation of two fat, hairy ponies of uncertain temper, that lived in a field next to his home. “They were owned by two little girls about three feet high who could have done with losing a few pounds themselves”, he recalled. “They would arrive to collect their mounts in yellow pullovers, tiny jodhpurs and velvet safety helmets. I could hear the air whisper as they tested their whips - so could Thunder and Lightning, who pointedly ignored them and went on grazing.”

The reaction to the draw was startling and from that moment he would be forever regarded as the unofficial country cartoonist and creator of “The Thelwell Pony” and Pony club girls. He would continue to make images and drawing for Punch, for further 25 years. 

In 1956, Thelwell was offered the leading cartoonist's job on the News Chronicle and The Sunday Express, and promptly turned freelance, leaving a teaching post at Wolverhampton College of Art. On his first day, however, he found that the office was too distractingly noisy, and spent the rest of his working life at home, sending his cartoons in by train. By 1960, he had drawn 387 cartoons for the newspaper. In 1966 Thelwell was one of the founder members of the British Cartoonists’ Association.

Thelwell signed his cartoons ‘Thelwell’, written with blob serifs in a wavy line, but his landscapes and other formal paintings carried the signature ‘Norman Thelwell’.

His freelance work included Lilliput, Daily Express, John Bull, Picture Post, Eagle, New Review,  Countryman and Esquire. He produced book jackets, worked for television, and drew for advertising - clients including Guinness, and the Royal Mail.


This is my seasonal image for this year and its my thank you for logging on to the Fetchaset Blog. 

My best wishes go to all of my students and friends together with the hope that you will have a successful and a very happy 2012.

If your stuck for an idea of what to listen to over the next few days, try these...Some tunes you might like and some I know you will hate.    

God Only Knows - The Beach Boys

Another Green World - Brian Eno

Play That Funky Music White Boy - Cool And The Gang

Golden Years - David Bowie

Slave To The Rhythm (Extended) - Grace Jones

La Mer - Jean Sablon

Puccini: Tosca - Vissi D'Arte - Joan Sutherland

The Way You Look Tonight - Tony Bennett


Its almost that time of year....or it used to be! This post is from my archive of illustration and memorabilia. It was about this time of year that millions of households would buy their copy of The Radio Times. 

It would give the details of every television program for the festive season and I would work through the magazine page by page with a Biro, circling all the programs I wanted to see at Christmas.

But it wasn’t just about the TV programs that fascinated me. The Radio Times was the ultimate showcase for British Illustration and the December issue was packed with the best that the craft had to offer. Mick Brownfield’s cover Illustrations captured all that the BBC and the Radio Times wanted, Christmas after Christmas.  

Morecombe and Wise, The Generation Game, Parkinson and Mick Brownfield Illustration. His nostalgic style provided a warm comfortable feeling, and if Mick wasn’t commissioned to do the cover I always felt disappointed. 

His airbrush style had a distinctly 1950’s quality. Typically, Dad would be seen enjoying his new pipe, John would be playing with a gleaming new train set and Janet would be in a world of her own playing with her dolls house. Mum would be in the Kitchen ! Every member of the family would be happy, Santa always came and life was both simple and good.

Mick did a lot of Radio Times covers and he would either sign his work with with a dramatically letter spaced, B r o w n f i e l d, or a simple abstract letter ‘B’ placed in some discreet location on the illustration. I loved his work then...I still love it.

Radio Times. December 1991


I was honoured to be invited to write a festive piece for Illustration magazine a few weeks ago, reflecting on the task of designing a Christmas card. It was a pleasure to do and I hope that my copy and images will prove to be a pleasant read. 

Importantly the work in the issue is an outstanding collection of Illustration which I was astonished and thrilled to see. Brian Grimwood talks about a 40 year career in Illustration with lavish pictures and images. Ronald Searle talks about his work. To me he is truly heroic both in life and in his genius, students of design should research his biography as well as his archive of rawings and creations. There is also a wonderful 7 page article about the work of the poster designer Edward McKnight Kauffer.Stunning iconic images from the 1930’s to the 1950’s.

The issue is packed with fantastic material and I recommend anyone who enjoys illustration and design to get a copy. It is both informative and entertaining in equal measure and is one of the best magazines of its kind that I have seen in a long time.

The winter issue is on sale now but only in a few outlets: 
The British Library, Bank Side, The Cartoon Museum, 
Tate Britain...are just a few. Get a copy, I know you wont regret it.