Gordon Andrews


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A well‐known Australian who did much to establish the design profession in Australia, Andrews worked across a range of design disciplines, including graphics, industrial, and interiors. He originally trained in engineering at Sydney Technical College before taking up graphic design and finding employment in a Sydney advertising agency. During the late 1930s he worked in London, visiting the Paris Exposition in 1937, and returning to Sydney in 1939. After the war a number of department stores did a great deal to introduce modern Australian design and designers, including that of David Jones in Sydney (established in 1840). Andrews acted as design consultant to the company in the late 1940s and worked in a number of fields including packaging design and product design. Amongst such work was a three‐piece aluminium saucepan set marketed under the Rex label and a modern, almost functionalist phonogram. His furniture designs were also sold in Marion Best P/L, one of a number of design studios and retailers that did a great deal to introduce modern Australian design and designers to the public. Best also promoted his interior designs. He worked for corporate clients, being commissioned to design furniture for Olivetti showrooms in London (1954) and Sydney (1956) which was later marketed in modified form as his Rondo and Gazelle chairs. In the late 1950s Andrews and his designer wife Mary opened ‘Andrews' Designs’ in Sydney for which he produced furniture, textiles, jewellery, and interior design. But perhaps he was best known for his design of the first Australian decimal currency bank notes (1966). He also received international recognition, being nominated as a Fellow of the Society of Industrial Artists (See Chartered Society of Designers) in London (1955) and elected as an Honorary Designer for Industry of the Royal Society of Arts, London (1989).

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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