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FHK Henrion: Logo designer

FHK Henrion’s best symbols, logos and logotypes are distinguished by their simplicity and directness. He stripped them of extraneous detail, and as Ken Garland has noted: ‘His work always moves along the shortest distance between two points. No dodging about. No waste. No cautious detours in the name of good taste.’ Amongst the best logotypes and symbols designed by Henrion were for Tate & Lyle, Blue Circle and LEB (London Electricity Board):

The LEB was the public-sector utility company responsible for electricity generation in the city. Henrion’s logo achieved a balance between practicality and aesthetics: it could be cast in metal or concrete, or used in low-cost plastic fascias, and yet it is also beautiful in a sharply modern way. With its evocation of a lightning-bolt of electricity rendered as three highly readable letterforms, it is a triumph of graphic expression.

Henrion was hired in 1966 to rationalise a British cement manufacturer’s identity. He found a jumble of logos and haphazard typography, all of which caused confusion and unnecessary expense. Henrion elected not to invent a new logo, instead he selected the blue circle (in the shape of a thick blue band) used by one of the main operating companies, and turned it into a unifying symbol of timeless potency.

One of Henrion’s undoubted masterpieces, the Tate & Lyle logo was designed in 1965 and is still in use – unchanged – today. At first glance it looks like a straightforward typographic arrangement of stencil letterforms. But locked within it is a visual trope that signals Tate & Lyle’s most famous product – sugar cubes. Henrion’s deft integration of 12 squares in his logotype encourages the viewer to make an ‘enlightened guess’ and see them not as two dimensional squares, but as three-dimensional cubes.


Foiled cover and slipcase
Four colour litho print


544 pages

Until 28 Feb were offering FHK Henrion: The Complete Designer at a special price of £58.50.

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