Page 1: Great Expectations

Page1 designed by Fitzroy and Finn

Paul was delighted to be invited to talk at the Design Museum for the launch of GraphicDesign&'s fantastic project Page 1; Great Expectations. GraphicDesign& asked 70 graphic designers/typographers varying in age, background and experience, to layout the text of page 1 of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. The launch event saw 18 of the contributors present 7 images in 2 minutes of how their final page 1 layout was developed/designed. It was followed by informal discussions about the designs with the audience/guests. Here are the 7 images that Paul showed, with a brief rationale for each image.


St James' Church, Cooling Kent

St James' Church, Cooling Kent
This is a photograph of St James' Church Cemetery in Cooling, Kent. Which inspired Dickens opening paragraph about Pips parents grave and the five little stone lozenges which were arranged in a neat row in memory of his little brothers…


Normandy American Cemetery

Normandy American Cemetery
This brought to mind the American Military Cemetery in Normandy, France I visited a couple of years ago. It is truly vast and contains the remains of 10,000 American military dead. It is a sombre experience, the shear scale reduces the tombstones to a pattern.


Tom Phillips — One On Either Side / Einer Auf Jeder Seite

Tom Phillips — One On Either Side / Einer Auf Jeder Seite
I recalled Tom Phillips double-sided tombstone; a monument to two soldiers from opposing sides, who happened to share the same surname, week and place of death, May 1941 during the WW2 campaign in Crete.


Dulwich College War Memorial

Dulwich College War Memorial
Many war monuments list alphabetically all the names of the deceased. These are often called a 'Roll Of Honour', they reduce a life once lived to an inscribed surname. Life is reduced to a collection of letters.


Eric Gill's Grandfathers Grave

Eric Gill's Grandfathers Gravestone
This is Eric Gill's grandfathers tombstone which I found in my copy of the 1959 Penrose Annual, I was intrigued to find out that his grandfather was a Reverend in Burnley, a town very near to where I grew up. I presume Eric Gill designed it…


Anthony H Wilson's Grave

Anthony H Wilson's headstone
This is Anthony H Wilson's tombstone designed by Peter Saville with Ben Kelly, Paul Barnes and Matt Robertson. I like it's simplicity and elegance. Apparently the tombstone is the same proportions of the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey.


2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey
This still is from the opening scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey called The Dawn of Man in which the monolith first appears to early humans. I now read the symbolism of the monolith as the monument to all life and all death…





Image 01: St James' Church, Cooling Kent

Image 02: Normandy American Cemetery Image credit: American Battle Monuments Commission

Image 03: Tom Phillips — One On Either Side / Einer Auf Jeder Seite

Image 04: Dulwich College War Memorial Image credit: Banana Rublev 

Image 05: Eric Gill's Grandfathers Grave — The Penrose Annual Vol.53, Lund Humphries, 1959.

Image 06: Anthony H Wilson's headstone Photographs: Jan Chlebik

Image 07: 2001: A Space Odyssey