Professor Brian Tattersfield FRCA, FCSD, FRSA

Areas of Interest

Arts, Business

Honorary Award

Honorary Doctor of Philosophy, 2003


Born in Yorkshire in 1938, Brian Tattersfield is a graphic designer and founding partner of Minale Tattersfield. After studying under Bob Gill at the Royal College of Art, he entered the advertising business and was soon appointed as Art Director at Young & Rubicam. It was here that he first met Marcello Minale. In 1964 he and Minale founded Minale, Tattersfield & Partners, and quickly built a reputation as one of the most avant-garde design agencies in London. Their first high-profile project was to create Harrods' visual identity and other major projects were soon to follow. Their client list grew to include the FA Premier League (1992) and the Sydney Olympic Games (1993). By the time Brian retired, the company had become a major international agency. He has served as an External Examiner with the Norwich School of Art and Design, and as a member of their Board of Governors.

In 2003 Brian Tattersfield was made an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy.


"The Senate of Anglia Polytechnic University, in partnership with the Norwich School of Art and Design, has great pleasure in recommending the award of an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree to Professor Brian Tattersfield, FRCA, FCSD, FRSA. He is a significant graphic designer of our time, who has been instrumental in changing the way that the design professions think about graphic design. He is known internationally as someone whose ideas have contributed to the development of the graphic design industry in Britain and he has been associated with the University through the Norwich School of Arts and Design, since he first acted as an External Examiner, twenty three years ago.

Brian Tattersfield was born in the county of Yorkshire in England. He studied painting and lithography at the Batley School of Art in his home county and continued his studies under the tutorship of the American, Bob Gill, at the Royal College of Art in London. Early in is career he was appointed as Art Director at the advertising agency of Young & Rubicam, where he specialized in the making of advertisements and met Marcello Minale, who specialized in making logos. Brian then spent a year with Fletcher, Forbes & Gill, before co-founding the now celebrated organization: Minale, Tattersfield & Partners in 1964.

The formation of this company had been triggered, in part, by the complementarily of the artistic gifts of the founders and by the frustrations they had experienced in a large agency, where they had not been able to discuss their artistic concepts directly with their clients. However, they first became truly famous when they moved on from Penguin book covers to their first enormous project with Harrods store in London. This major undertaking in creating the visual appearance of Harrods: the distinctive building, the packaging the liveries of staff and delivery vans, indeed, the whole corporate image was a great success.

Their new adventure was marked by the liberated attitudes of the sixties: the informality, their famous scribble and various outlandish advertising campaigns which led to success in the Designers and Art Directors Exhibition, which annual event played a pivotal role in the development of Minale, Tattersfield's creative reputation and which led ultimately, in 1987, to the conferring upon them of the prestigious Design and Art Director President's Award for outstanding contributions to design, as well as the most highly esteemed New York Art Directors Gold Medal (a golden T-square!).

Minale, Tattersfield has worked as lead designer on numerous large projects, such as the corporate identity associated with the new town of Milton Keynes, working with Sir Norman Foster on the graphic design for the Willis Faber Dumas building in Ipswich and the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia, commissions for new British airports, corporate identity and graphics for the Imperial War Museum, corporate identity for the London Transport Museum and design of the new London Underground station at Hammersmith and Brian's last major project which was for the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds. The enormous range of their work covers advertising art (of course) but also includes packaging; magazine and book design; illustration; exhibition display; typography; lettering; industrial, furniture and environmental design and murals.

Apart from an impressive entry in Who's Who in Graphic Design, ornamented with a selection of his film posters, corporate designs and posters for overseas investment, Brian Tattersfield majors in various books, including in 1986: Design a la Minale, Tattersfield by Rebecca Eliahoo and in 1990: Design - The World of Minale, Tattersfield by Jeremy Myerson, both published by Booth-Clibborn and forming part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

From his early poster designs as a student at the Royal College of Art, to his more recent designs for international airports from Heathrow to Rimini, Brian maintained the very highest design standards. His work was recognized internationally as original, innovative and creative, based upon a philosophy centred on ideas. His design solutions were the result of intelligent analysis of clients' problems.

Brian Tattersfield's commitment to passing on his knowledge and wisdom in his field of expertise, was not confined to the training of his company staff members. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Brighton, Guest Tutor at the Royal College of Art and was long dedicated to Norwich School of Art and Design where he served as an External Examiner, member of the Board of Governors and appointments committees, as well as being a course and subject advisor over many years.

It is for these reasons, therefore, that I invite you, Vice-Chancellor, to confer on Professor Brian Tattersfield, FRCA, FCSD, FRSA an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree of this University."