Food for thought‘[...] do not think that good design can make a poor product good, whether the product be a machine, a building, a promotional brochure or a business man. But [...] good design can materially help make a good product reach its full potential. In short, [...] good design is good business.’
Thomas J. Watson Jr., IBM CEO

Design: The World of Minale Tattersfield — Book Review

April 27, 2011, 1:52 PM

Minale Tattersfield is one of the top British design companies, founded back in 1964 by Marcello Minale and Brian Tattersfield. They are now a global company, with eight offices all around the world.

The Design: The World of Minale Tattersfield book presents their work and their ideas. Their first book, ‘Design a la Minale Tattersfield’, published in 1986, ‘explored its artist-designer origins in the creative ferment of the early 1960s and charted its spectacular tradition of invention up to the mid-80s’ — as Jeremy Myerson, the book’s author says (he is also the founder of the DesignWeek magazine). The new book takes up the story, covering more than 25 years, starting from the 60s and continuing with the transition period in the 90s, with the expansion of the company and the increasing globalisation of the design industry. Read on for more info and pictures.

The book is divided into six chapters, each with several relevant projects:

  • Travel & Leisure
  • Commercial & Industrial
  • Publishing & Media
  • Banking & Finance
  • Food & Drink
  • Shopping & Fashion

The introduction gives a nice history of the company, together with an ‘Influences’ section, talking about the founders’ and main partners backgrounds and preocupations. One very interesting chapter is the ’24 wrong ideas’ one, showing very good concepts that were rejected by clients or, as in one lucky case, were later used for another client.

It looks, of course, very British, as the book’s design makes use of the classic Gill Sans. Here are some of my favourite pages:

While all the projects are pleasure to browse through, the most interesting thing about the book is the multidude of interpretations of their brilliant logo. Here are six takes (on the hardcover), each illustrating one chapter:

You can read more about their logo on my related blog post:
The Scribble, probably the best designers’ logo ever.

BOOK DETAILS

Title: Design: The World of Minale Tattersfield
Author:
Jeremy Myerson
Editor: Edward Booth- Clibborn
No. of pages:
256
Publisher:
Booth-Clibborn Editions (April 1990)
Language:
English
ISBN-10:
0904866777
ISBN-13:
978-0904866773

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Comments:

[…] While I didn’t expect for the Scribble (yes, that’s its name) to make the Creative Review list, it is not the least less great. Minale Tattersfield is one of the top British design companies, founded back in 1964 by Marcello Minale and Brian Tattersfield. I wrote a bit more about them in my review of the book, ‘Design: The World of Minale Tattersfield’. […]

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yes, minale tattersfield is a top British design company while marcello minale was alive.

Hi Lucy,
thanks for your comment. Shame when companies loose their focus after the founders move on or pass away. Wolff Olins is probably one happy exception.

Best,
Iancu

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