Raymond Hawkey obituary, James Bond paperback designer
Raymond Hawkey, who died on August 22 aged 80, was one of the most influential graphic designers of the second half of the 20th century, reports the Telegraph
Click here for the Raymond Hawkey obituary on MI6
His groundbreaking work changed the face of both newspapers and book jackets. In the words of his lifelong friend Len Deighton, his use of graphic panels on news pages, drawn headlines and diagrams from the late 1950s "blew apart the deadly dull typography" of Fleet Street.
In the book world, his 1962 black and white photographic cover for Deighton's first book, The Ipcress File, showing a Smith and Wesson revolver, a chipped cup of cold tea and a stubbed-out cigarette, quickly became a major influence on the evolution of book jacket design. Mike Dempsey, a former president of Design and Art Direction, described it as "one of the key moments in design" of the period.
Other authors queued to enjoy his talents over the years â among them Ian Fleming, Kingsley Amis and Frederick Forsyth. His approach to books went beyond the aesthetics of design: his jackets were intended to promote and sell, not just to look good.
One of his most influential moments was when he persuaded Pan paperbacks to make the words JAMES BOND twice the size of those for the titles of the books and for their author Ian Fleming, anticipating a whole new marketing approach.
Raymond John Hawkey was born on February 2 1930 in Plymouth, an only child. His father, a commercial traveller, wanted his son to become an accountant. Raymond, though, embraced drawing from an early age, and his headmaster recognised his creativity and encouraged him to take a course in general arts at the Plymouth School of Art. There he gained a National Diploma in Design and in 1950 won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art. He quickly found his chosen course â illustration â dull, and switched to graphics.
He soon began to make his mark. As art director of the RCA's ARK magazine, he introduced photographs and illustration to its covers â an innovation that outraged the rector. Still a student, he worked with the picture editor of the now defunct Sunday Graphic and won a design competition organised by Vogue. The magazine's publisher, CondÃ© Nast, recruited him as an art editor, and he remained there for "three happy years" before spending a year at Colman, Prentice and Varley, then a major advertising agency.
In 1959 Hawkey became design director of The Daily Express, where he and the art director Michael Rand became trailblazers with their use of illustration within news stories. One notable example was a countdown description of a passenger plane ditching in mid-Atlantic. Design Journal commented that it was "fresh and moving; since there were, understandably, no cameramen at the scene of the crash, none of the other newspapers illustrated what it was like for the passengers".
In 1964 he was appointed presentations director of The Observer and led the design of its colour magazine, staying there until 1975. Over the years, he was also a consultant to many publications, including IPC Magazines, the Daily Mail and The Independent. He was twice winner of the Newspaper Design Award for The Observer.
It was through his work in book publishing, though, that he became most widely known. Its roots began back in his RCA days, when Len Deighton, a fellow scholarship student, gatecrashed a party. Hawkey, one of the organisers, was deputed to evict him. Instead, the two men began what was to become a lifetime collaboration and friendship.
When Deighton produced The Ipcress File in 1962, Hawkey was Deighton's choice to design its jacket. Its look, stark yet sophisticated, menacing yet commonplace, caused consternation at the publishers. It had them throwing up their hands in horror, Deighton later recalled. But soon there was great competition for Hawkey's services. The Bond covers helped make the producer Harry Saltzman one of his staunchest fans.
Hawkey brought the same photorealistic style to film work in providing a memorable title sequence for the 1969 movie Oh! What a Lovely War.
He also wrote three highly successful thrillers, Wild Card (with Roger Bingham), Side-Effect and It.
Raymond Hawkey was quietly spoken, always impeccably dressed and had a courtesy and manners that often seemed to belong to another age. His loyalty to friends was famous. Although modest and self-effacing, he never underrated himself â he once refused to allow an exhibition of his work to go ahead because he thought it insufficiently well staged.
Although he spent most of his life in the same Notting Hill flat, his passion remained with the sea near which he had spent his early years. His rooms were filled with photographs and illustrations of old ships, ancient brass wheels and compasses, a striking figurehead â all together with celebrated pieces of modern furniture.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Eileen, a nurse and academic, whom he married in 1989.
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