James Pilditch


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A highly significant figure in post‐war British design Pilditch played an important role in promoting the importance of design and the design profession in many aspects of economic and business life. He was a prolific author in this respect, his books including The Silent Salesman (1961), The Business of Product Design (1966), Talk about Design (1976), and Winning Ways (1987). He trained as an art historian at the University of Reading before working in journalism in North America in the 1950s. He also learnt about the ways in which design consultancies operated in Toronto and New York, such organizations being considerably more common in North America than in Britain at the time. He returned to London in 1959, founding Package Design Associates, renamed Allied International Designers (AID) in the following year. It expanded considerably over the next two decades, with offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, and Tokyo and was floated on the Stock Exchange in 1980. Like a number of other large consultancies it ran into economic difficulties in the later 1980s. Pilditch was also active in many organizations including the Royal Society of Arts, the Design Council, the National Economic Development Office, and the London Business School.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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