Colin Banks

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Colin Banks (16 January 1932 in Ruislip - 9 March 2002 in Blackheath) co-founder of Banks & Miles, designers and typographers, founded in London in 1958 with partner John Miles. Major clients included the Consumers Association, the Post Office, British Telecom and London Transport, for whom they redesigned Edward Johnston's famous Underground Sans (as New Johnston).

Early life[edit]

He grew up in Margate. He went to Rochester and Maidstone schools of art (both became Kent Institute of Art & Design then eventually University for the Creative Arts), where he met John Miles at Maidstone.


With John Miles, he was the Production Editor of Which?, and associated magazines, from 1964-93.


An influential designer, his Telecom (T) identity, created for British Telecommunications when it was instituted in 1981, spawned many imitators. Its replacement by Wolff Olins' BT 'piper' was received with much derision in 1991. He received a prestigious RSA/BBC Design Award in 1990, for the paper-saving redesign of the UK's Phonebook. Johnn Miles and Banks designed the UK Post Office's distinctive "double-line" alphabet in 1972 and New Johnston a revival of Edward Johnston's Underground Sans, for London Transport. They also designed the logo of Lancaster University.

He was President of the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) from 1988 to 1993 and 2000 to 2002.


David Jury in his book About Face describes Banks's approach: "For Banks, it was important to respect the spirit of Johnston rather than adhere mechanically to the construction rules which would have made any further development of the design impossible." Banks would later design a limited-edition book for the organisation as a tribute to Edward Johnston.

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Dr Caroline Grigson (daughter of the poet Geoffrey Grigson and his first wife). They had a daughter, Frances, who was killed in a road accident in 1978, and a son, Joe.


External links[edit]