Kenneth Grange

(b. 1929)

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(1929– )

One of Britain's leading product designers in the second half of the 20th century, Grange has worked for a number of important clients including Kodak, Maruzen, Bang & Olufsen, Kenwood, Gillette, British Rail, GEC, Parker Pens, Reuters, and Shisheido. He was also a founding member of Pentagram in 1972, taking on the product end of the design consultancy's commissions until 1998, when he left. After training as an illustrator in 1927 and working as an assistant at Arcon Chartered Architects he went on to work as an exhibition designer for Bronck, Katz, and Vaughan from 1948 to 1950, followed by a period at Gordon Bowyer's design practice until 1953. He also worked for Jack Howe before establishing his own design studio in 1958. A key early commission was for the Kodak exhibit at the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels, marking the beginning of a long‐term relationship with the Kodak company. In 1959 he began work on the A44 camera, the first of a number of such commissions that included the Brownie in 1964 and the Instamatic in 1970. He also began a long‐term designer–client relationship with the domestic appliance manufacturer Kenwood, bringing commercial success to its Chef range of foodmixers with a stylish redesign (A307) in 1960.His work for the company also included the Chefette handmixer of 1966. Other celebrated domestic appliances that he designed in this period included the Milward Courier battery shaver of 1963 and the Ronson Comet cigarette lighter of 1968, the clean lines of each indicative of his economic yet aesthetically sensitive approach to design problem solving. He believed that the product designer should strive for innovative rather than merely stylish design solutions. He also received a number of commissions from Japanese companies such as Maruzen from 1968 to 1972, for whom he designed sewing machines, typewriters, and calculators. Larger‐scale commissions included the High‐Speed Train for British Rail in 1977 and the redesign of the London Taxi twenty years later. He was elected as a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) in 1969 and became an adviser to the British Design Council ten years later. He also received ten Design Awards between 1959 and 1981.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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