Richard Hollis & Peter Saville at the Whitechapel

An excerpt from Richard Hollis Designs for the Whitechapel on the differences between Richard Hollis and Peter Saville’s approach to the Whitechapel Art Gallery’s booklet design:

“Smith was given the task of implementing the booklet design, which continued for three issues before the gallery asked Peter Saville Associates to change it. Jenni Lomax thought the booklets ‘very cool, beautiful objects, but they didn’t work as tools for information in the way that Richard Hollis’s newssheets did. We very quickly realized that nobody retained the information in them. They didn’t give the sense of the programme in quite the same way. Richard’s, in their very economic way, give you a full sense, quite immediately, of what’s happening at the Whitechapel. The booklet was much more ‘elegant’. It just didn’t work for the purpose.’ Richard Smith recalls how the format ‘became really cumbersome in terms of the content. People didn’t want to display something that small, and the public didn’t understand that it was a piece of marketing communication. People thought they had to pay for it; they didn’t understand that it was a newsletter. It was probably that a) it seemed too precious; b) the way that it was formatted wasn’t digestible; and c) it wasn’t a familiar format.’ So from April 1986 the newssheets reverted to a single sheet, folded, as before, to fit a DL envelope.”