Two facets of the graphics course had captured my imagination: the first was printmaking, and the second was typography.
Printmaking had a hybrid character, both fine art and commercial graphics influences ran through it. In the sixties, Warhol, Lichtenstein and many of the US and British Pop artists had resuscitated the art form. I was also developing an interest in posters, and the ability to create strong images directly with flat, uncompromising colour via silkscreen printing was exciting and when combined with fluorescent inks and papers, perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the era.
Whilst working on a poster project, a lecturer leaned over my shoulder and grunted: ‘Another Eckersley?’ When this was met with my blank and confused look, he explained that the graphics course external assessor was the great Tom Eckersley, renowned for his poster work. This sent me off to the college library to look up some of his work. Not only did I find books of his posters, but work by many others from the fifties, forties and before. Many of the creators of these earlier posters were also fine artists in their own right and created the printing media – litho stones, plates, and stencils – by their own hands. This appealed to me, and while others were creating designs and visuals with gouache and markers, I was cutting stencils for silkscreen printing.