David Mellor dies aged 78

Sheffield-born industrial desiger David Mellor, renowned for his cutlery designs, has died at the age of 78.

Mellor trained as a silversmith, and after graduating from the Royal College of Art created cutlery ranges including the silver-plated Pride (1953) and Embassy (1963), designed for use in British embassies. Both ranges won Design Centre Awards.

He opened his first shop in Sloane Square, London, in 1969, selling a range of kitchenware and tableware, and in 1990 completed a purpose-designed factory, in collaboration with architect Sir Michael Hopkins & Partners, at Hathersedge in the Peak District National Park. The building won a number of awards, including the Royal Institute of British Architects National Award.

As well as designing cutlery, Mellor also redesigned the national traffic light system in 1965-70 and created a square postbox design in 1966.

He was elected a Royal Designer for Industry in 1962, was a former chairman of the Crafts Council and trustee of the Victoria & Albert Museum, and was appointed CBE in 2001.

In 1984 he said, ‘For me, in all aspects of my activity – from the architecture of our buildings, the selection of products for my shops, down to the choice of the right rivets for my cutlery – to aim for the highest visual standards has been paramount, and perfecting this skill has been one of the main aims of my life as a designer.’

Mellor, who died yesterday, is survived by his wife Fiona, daughter Clare, and son Corin, who is now creative director of David Mellor Design.

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