FHK Henrion

FHK Henrion book

Unit Editions has published the first comprehensive monograph of the work of German-born designer FHK Henrion (1914-1990).

FHK Henrion

“As a British citizen after WWII, he designed publications, exhibitions, household products, interiors and jewellery, and in the 1960s he became the founding father of modern corporate identity in Europe.”

Henrion was awarded both the MBE (in 1951) and the OBE (in 1985).

KLM logo

His reputation was already established when he designed KLM’s identity in 1961, but it didn’t stop the Dutch airline questioning his design. Apparently, KLM accepted the design only after protracted deliberation, considering it too advanced. It is perhaps testament to KLM’s vision and courage that the symbol entered service at all, but the fact that it is still in use today — even following KLM’s merger with Air France in 2004 (to form Air France-KLM) — is testament to Henrion’s simple, bold and undeniably modern design.

(The above paragraph is excerpted from Symbol.)

Blue Circle Group logo
Blue Circle Group logo, 1970

National Theatre logo
National Theatre logo, 1971 (update: designed in 1974 by Ian Dennis while he worked in FHK Henrion’s London studio, more info on davidthedesigner’s blog)

FHK Henrion logos

FHK Henrion book

The book is available for pre-order. Shipping in November 2013.

More info:
Design Coordination and Corporate Image, by FHK Henrion and Alan Parkin
FHK Henrion Flickr group
FHK Henrion on Designers Journal
FHK Henrion bio on AGI

6 responses

  1. We read about a lot of war heroes and villians in history, it a pity schools do not spend more time teaching about giants such as Henrion and their legacy to the modern world.

    I think “timeless” is the word missing from the paragraph from symbol about the KLM logo.

  2. Thanks David

    That’s very kind of you.

    Henri doesn’t really need the NT logo – he has enough of his own to ensure his legacy!

    Can still hear his voice discussing it with me after all the decades.


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