Alan Fletcher’s toys

For the LTM pitch I’ve been looking at the Alan Fletcher work, especially the Picturing and Poeting book. Professionally Fletcher was a pioneering graphic designer, but this book focuses more on his private work drawings from his sketch book and fun

The main thing I liked about the poster was the teeth, I thought that was such a fun starting point for a character design. I’ve already done some drawings of possible characters with big grins, but researching Alan Fletcher’s playful non-commercial work is really helpful. He made these toys/creatures for his grandson out of bits and bobs and bright paint. I really love the names he gave them: Hooligan, Amarillo, Janus and Porky.

Hooligan is the four-legged yellow guy with stripes and big teeth… ding ding!

What is also interesting about these guys is that Fletcher referred to Paul Klee when he wrote about them.

“Paul Klee always knew when something was finished, because instead of him looking at the subject, the subject began looking at him.”

Butterflies & Flowers

This is what the animation looks like at the moment. We’ve redrawn it all in flash, removed all the text, but maintained the poster dimensions. We’ve kept nearly all the movement with in the oblong in the centre, but allowed the butte flied and the girl to go beyond the frame and into the dark space around it. We hope that all the movements will be visible even on an i-phone, and that’s why we simplified the flowers and the girl to block shapes.

With this in mind we looked back at Horace Taylor’s poster for the London Transport, especially this one where the people are reduced to bright flat colours…

In keeping with his very graphic style we looked at Marimekko prints, and how they simplified and flattened flowers to make a bold print.

We looked at the movement of real flowers and how they make circular motions in the wind. We also looked at the flight of many butterflies, especially the famous Monarch butterfly.



Yesterdays lecture on UPA was ferociously inspiring, I can’t stop thinking about Rooty Toot Toot! Although I was familiar with the style, and the Cartoon Modern book I didn’t really know anything about UPA as an animation studio. It’s fascinating how influential the work was on subsequent cartoons, but also on graphics and illustration of the time. I was particularly captivated by how they made the characters and objects transparent and the colours of people’s clothing or buildings didn’t need to be contained by their lines. It reminded me of screen printing and the brilliant effects you can get when you introduce line drawings onto flat background, or when the registration is off (which if you are me happens every time!) This style does still seem refreshing and modern even though it has been appropriated rather exhaustively. Some of the imitations are swell too.

For a more analytical and authoritative account here’s John K’s : Stylized Spumco