In the early 1970’s, I worked as the illustrator developing logos for Barbara Hulanicki’s new Biba store in Kensington London. The interior and Graphic Design team was Tim Whitmore and Steve Thomas of Whitmore Thomas Design assocs. The graphic department also included Mick Partlett and Chris Angell. We spent two very intense sometimes chaotic years working on site at the old Derry and Tom’s department store. It was great fun watching the store grow around us as we occupied the old restaurant on the roof garden.
I worked with Steve Thomas developing the logos for each new department. These were applied to packaging, matchbooks,newspapers and colouring books. The store opened in 1973 but closed it’s doors forever by 1975. I did not really understand it at the time but all is explained in Barbara Hulanicki’s autobiography ‘From A to Biba’.
I was born in Worcester England and in 1968 attended Leicester College of art taking a three year course in graphic design.On moving to London I became a freelance artist working mainly in fashion drawing for Petticoat, Woman, and Fashion Forecast magazines. I also illustrated for Radio Times magazine and various advertising agencies. An ex tutor of mine informed me that Whitmore Thomas was looking for an illustrator and I applied and got the job. When Biba closed I resumed my freelance work, Mick Partlett and I were married and moved to Canada and I now illustrate childrens’ books.
A new interest in Biba has emerged with the publication of two excellent books ‘The Biba Experience’ by Alwyn. W. Turner, and ‘Welcome to Big Biba’ by Steve Thomas and Alwyn. W. Turner. I have not worked on anything remotely like Biba since the 70’s but I am starting to experiment with that style again especially the pinup girls which I always loved doing. I will use this blog to experiment with them and other things.
I welcome you to read and enjoy my blog and ask any questions about the Biba days or illustration.