WOOL: PRIMARY RESEARCH

Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals.

Wool has several qualities that distinguish it from hair or fur: it is crimped, it is elastic, and it grows in staples (clusters).

CHARACTERISTICS OF WOOL:

• durability and resilience       • dyeability         • resistance to flame           • fiber absorbency 

• felting        • chemical structure        • resistance to compression

PROCESSING WOOL: SHEARING

Sheep shearing is the process by which the woolen fleece of a sheep is cut off. After shearing, the wool is separated into four main categories: fleece (which makes up the vast bulk), broken, bellies, and locks. The quality of fleeces is determined by a technique known as wool classing, whereby a qualified person called a wool classer groups wools of similar gradings together to maximize the return for the farmer or sheep owner.

Shearing the Rams by Tom Roberts, 1890

TRADITIONAL SHEEP SHEARS

Wool classing is an occupation for which people are trained to produce uniform, predictable, low risk lines of wool. This is carried out by examining the characteristics of the wool in its raw state.

PRACTITIONER: ALAN FLETCHER

Alan Fletcher is among the most influential figures in post-war British graphic design as a founder of Fletcher/Forbes/Gill in the 1960s and Pentagram in the 1970s.

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Cover design: Issue No. 92 Graphis magazine 1960

Portfolio Fletcher/Forbes/Gill 1963 Fletcher/Forbes/Gill opened on the 1st April 1962. This book is a record of some of the work done during the first year 1962/1963. 210 x 297mm

Pirelli slippers 1962 Appearing on the sides of London's red double-decker buses, this poster commandeered bystanders into the advertisement. The heads and shoulders of six upper-deck passengers are each bottomed with a pair.

Fletcher/Forbes/Gill

personal favourite logotype

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ABB (Asea Brown Boveri)
1987

Asea Brown Boveri is one of the world's leading multinational engineering companies operating in over 100 countries. It was the result of a merger in 1987 between Asea of Sweden and Brown Boveri of Switzerland. The design for the logotype took the new ABB name and divided each initial into quarters. These represented the company's four main business areas: power plants, power transmission, power distribution and industrial equipment.

''The Pentagram years''

Text: Mike Dempsey

Alan was forever delving into books for pearls of wisdom and witty quotations. And the story goes he?d been reading a book on witchcraft and became intrigued by the name ?Pentagram?: a five-pointed star. Although none of the others liked it much, the name stuck and so Pentagram was born. The five partners established a new business structure. Everyone would receive the same salary, regardless of individual workflow; everyone would be responsible for their own profit centres and everyone would contribute to a communal fund for rent, administration costs and special projects. This mechanism would serve the partnership well for many years to come.

By the late 1970s Pentagram was installed in a canal-side building overlooking Paddington Station, described by Alan as: ?One of the best views of East Germany in London?. The studio had an air of calm professionalism with an endless array of strutting youthful assistants sporting denim flairs, Fair Isle jumpers and the bubble hairdos of the period. Lunchtime was a communal affair set out on long tables below a wall of enamelled Victorian advertising signs. Meanwhile Alan immersed himself in ever-larger projects. One project for the Commercial Bank of Kuwait involved him in every aspect of the bank?s visual manifestation: just what he?d always dreamed of. 
In 1978 Colin Forbes ? still with the memory of his tour of Manhattan with the Fletchers back in ?58 ? set off like Columbus to the Americas in order to set up Pentagram New York. And so began Pentagram?s tentative global reach.
 
The 1980s were a solid period for Alan, who built on his substantial experience in handling major identities and signing projects. He produced a sumptuous book and the signing programme for the then-shiny-new Lloyds of London HQ. 
 
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Sign programme

Lloyd's of London
1986

 

Lloyds of London is at the centre of the international insurance market. In 1986, Pentagram was commissioned to design the signs for their new headquarters. The programme also included a solid granite marker at the corner of Lime Street and a variety of direction, information, identification and statutory signs inside the complex. The marker was an elegant response to local council demands for a concrete crash barrier to protect what they perceived as a vulnerable building from heavy and out of control vehicles. Etched with the address and a compass rose to evoke Lloyd?s of London?s nautical past, the cornerstone functions more practically as a seat. Inside, Pentagram developed a sign system to complement the innovative architecture by Richard Rogers. Using a stencil alphabet by Le Corbusier, Pentagram?s system was precision engineered, with each letter and number laser cut out of aluminium panels then stove enamelled in primary colours. 

WOOL: PRIMARY RESEARCH

OTHER ARTISTS USING WOOL/KNIT: DAVE COLE CLICK FOR VIDEO

OTHER ARTISTS USING WOOL/KNIT: GELITIN

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SECONDARY RESEARCH IN THE LIBRARY PDF

Rubik's cube and wool bales

HARD SHEETS MADE OF WOOL (FELT)

FLENSTED BAUHAUS MOBILE This mobile was designed in cooperation with the Bauhaus Museum in Germany. The mobile is based on the artistic style of Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky. Made of wood rods and colorful plastic shapes. Hangs approx 26" wide by 12"

Book I used for Bauhaus research.

FINAL OUTCOME - A2 MOODBOARD

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