A retrospective of the work of Kenneth Grange opens tomorrow (20th July) at the Design Museum in London.
The exhibition is full of Grange's work for the likes of Kenwood and British Rail. It is evident that he has maintained an impressive work rate over his lengthy career.
From the stripped back clock and barometer designs for the likes of Short and Mason (pictured above) to the ubiquitous Platignum pens - you can't help wonder just how many of us have come into contact with his work.
The show also serves as a great documentation of the boom period in which he worked. How many of the companies that he produced designs for exist today? A cursory search shows that only Henry Hope & Sons and Venner (who Grange designed the parking meter for, top of page) are no longer in business. Therefore Kodak, Wilkinson Sword, Henry Milward & Sons, AJ Binns, Parker, Morphy Richards, Stanley Garden Tools and B&W Loudspeakers have all remained resilient and adapted to change. More positive than some might expect.
But back to the design. Compared to the praise heaped on the work of Dieter Rams it would seem Grange has not been championed enough. As you wander around the neatly curated show you realise how the Pentagram co-founder's ideas were for the masses rather than the cognoscenti. Perhaps this stems from his commitment to undertaking design research himself
ou're a fool if you romp into production without being as informed as possible," he says.
Overall its dedication to making his designs as good as they can be for the user that shines through. Grange's proximity to all aspects of the process is admirable - as one piece of text states in the show, 't