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F. H. K. Henrion

(1914—1990) graphic designer


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(1914–90) Henrion was one of the most important designers in Britain in the development of corporate identity design with a distinguished portfolio of posters, packaging, and exhibitions. He also played an important role in British graphic design education as well as playing a prominent developmental role in international organizations such as the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (ICOGRADA) and the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI). Born in Nuremberg in Germany, in the 1930s he studied under the poster and theatre designer Paul Colin in the artistic hothouse of Paris, where he also came across the work of Cassandre, the work of the Surrealists, and Modernist experiments in photomontage and collage. After working on a freelance basis on the design of posters, packaging, and exhibitions in London and Paris in the later 1930s he settled in England in 1939. During the Second World War he worked for the Ministry of Information in Britain as well as for the US Office of War Information based in London. He contributed to the Britain Can Make It exhibition of 1946, showing the extensive range of his expertise through his design for a sewing machine. He also designed the Agriculture and Country Pavilions for the 1951 Festival of Britain and, in 1967, the Union Jack motif on top of the British Pavilion at Expo '67 in Montreal, Canada. In 1951 he founded his own design consultancy, Henrion Design Associates, which offered services in product, graphic, and exhibition design and soon established a reputation for corporate identity schemes with clients that included Blue Circle Cement, car manufacturers British Leyland, Tate & Lyle, BEA (British European Airways), and the Dutch airline KLM. In 1972 Henrion Design Associates changed its name to HDA International, reflecting the wider international scope of its activities and, ten years later, Henrion became a consultant to Henrion, Ludlow & Schmidt, specialists in corporate identity. Henrion played a significant role in design education, lecturing at the Royal College of Art, London, from 1955 to 1965 and heading the Faculty of Visual Communication at the London College of Printing from 1976 to 1979. He was awarded an OBE in 1951, was president of AGI, was a key figure in the development of ICOGRADA, and was a Master of the Faculty of the Royal Designers for Industry in 1971–2. His analytical approach to corporate identity design can be seen in his 1967 book Co-ordination and Corporate Image, which he co-published with mathematician Alan Parkin.

From A Dictionary of Modern Design in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.


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