You'll remember that I'm not here at the moment, so in my absence I've asked a couple of people if they would like to make a guest post (plus I've also had a couple of offers). So here's the first: from Barnsley Boy Ian (and it might help, if you're new here, to read some earlier posts - start with this one - about who really did design the National Theatre logo).
So, take it away Ian:
1963 The National Theatre opens at the Old Vic with Hamlet. Programme designed by Ken Briggs in revolutionary (for UK) modernist style. A 13 year-old Barnsley Boy copies Flintstones cartoons and reads Battle Picture Library comics.
1968 Ken Briggs designs Volpone programme, Barnsley Boy is trying to decide between languages and art for his future. Barnsley Grammar school arrange a trip to the National Theatre as it is a set book for A-levels. The programme travels back to Barnsley complete with its fantastic papers, duotones, wonderful photographs. Graphic design looks fun.
1969 After various mishaps with snow-bound portfolio, Reading University offers BB a place to study typography in newly created unit within the fine art department. Perhaps partly because Terry Frost (famous St Ives artist and father of comedy improv star Stephen Frost) thought BB had spinner's fingers and could play for Fine Art cricket team. (BB played football).
Summer 1973 BB applies for and gets a job with Moura-George Briggs, a new London design studio hoping to emulate Pentagram's total-design success. Its main clients and financiers are a 'fringe' bank called Cedar Holdings. BB works on a few jobs for the National Theatre, including the beginnings of a sign-system for the as-yet-unfinished new building on South Bank. BB turns down a job offer from FHK Henrion.
December 1973 The Bank of England closes down Cedar Holdings for 'crimes' like offering incentives to customers who opened accounts with them. Its chairman is humiliated and broken by being left in a cold dark basement at the Bank of England (it was a time of 3-day working weeks and powercuts). Its managing director later kills himself. BB comes in to work to find a cloud of cigarette and cigar smoke - evidence of an early morning crisis meeting. BB is made redundant on the same day he and his wife and daughter move into a new flat. BB asks Henrion if job is still open. It is.
1974 NT symbol is designed - see earlier posts, and goes into limbo as the theatre's opening is dogged by delays.
1977 Richard Bird and Michael Mayhew design programme and poster for Volpone, with NT logo. BB goes to see show and buys a programme.
AccideNTs will happen. Or at least they did once upon a time.