Obituary: John Gorham

John Gorham is arguably the greatest unsung hero of British graphic design. He was the Swiss-army knife of talent – so much in one person, such skill in one individual and so self-effacing in a world that perhaps never fully appreciated his innovation and individualism.

But John’s rewards were ultimately the work he produced and his uncompromising stance in the creativity in which he truly believed. He brought a richness to our lives through his unique abilities as a thinker, designer, typographer, artist, craftsman and so very much more. He was, at first appearance, extremely shy and rarely talked of himself, but behind this façade of innocence, lay gut, steel and determination to produce the very best possible.

Above all, John was a giver and gave his time for everyone – friends, students, work colleagues and clients.

He has attained the status of being one of the icons of our profession, a yardstick to measure our own abilities, a gentleman and a loyal friend.

I am certain his loving wife, Pauline, will ensure that John’s talents are never forgotten, and that we, as fellow professionals, need to reflect and remember just how much he has influenced our own lives with a recognisable symbol of permanence.

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