Kenneth Grange at Design Museum

For over 50 years, one man has been shaping the visual language of our urban landscape from parking meters, to trains, to taxis and even giving us a camera to record these iconic designs with. This man is Kenneth Grange.

With a retrospective exhibition at the Design Museum, we’re reminded just how much he has designed over his long career and even designing products that we will be seeing in our towns and villages for many years more to come.

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In 1972 Kenneth Grange, with Alan Fletcher, Theo Crosby, Colin Forbes and Mervyn Kurlansky established the world-famous multi-disciplinary design consultancy Pentagram. This partnership was responsible for producing the products, architecture, furniture, interiors and identities of household names across the world.

Grange later worked with companies such as Kodak, Kenwood and Morphy Richards along with public projects like the Intercity 125 train which changed the way we traveled forever. In recent history, the redesign of London’s taxicab has been a hugely successful product, keeping a silhouette that many tourists love to see but bringing it up-to-date with modern cars was key to the success. I heard him speak about this project recalling the conversations that the car was briefed to look radically different and closer in style to the NYC cabs, but Grange resisted and reminded us that this car is something we should celebrate and ‘own’.

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Grange has even redesigned the trusty rural post box for Royal Mail, with many of these boxes previously embedding themselves in walls or buildings, a simpler solution was clearly needed and his box keeps the pillar-box red colour that we love but, in the same way as the taxi changed, the shape and materials have been updated.

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All images © Luke Hayes, courtesy Design Museum

The exhibition runs from 20 July until 30 October 2011 at London’s Design Museum and for all product geeks and urban landscape fans, this is a must-see to discover more about the man who gave us these products.

Daniel

Having worked in design for the past decade, Daniel started ateliertally.com as a discussion of timeless, modernist product design. Trained as a graphic designer, he also has an avid interest in typography. You can follow him on Twitter @ateliertally.

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