Design Research Unit 1942–72

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Founded in London in 1943, Design Research Unit was the first consultancy in the country to draw together expertise in architecture, graphics and industrial design within a single practice. The studio was formed by prominent designers of the time: Herbert Read, Misha Black and Milner Gray. This retrospective of their work was produced to accompany a touring exhibition curated by Michelle Cotton in 2011.

The page layouts echo those of the identification manuals Design Research Unit created for companies such as Watneys and British Rail,1 and the body text of the book is set in Monotype Grotesque, which was used in a lot of their earlier studio work. Headline texts are set in Futura Schlagzeile,2 a typeface used by DRU in various items of their own printed material. The text on the cover is taken from a poster advertisement3 for the services of the Industrial Design Partnership (c.1935), a precursor to Design Research Unit that Misha Black and Milner Gray were both a part of.


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  2. Futura Schlagzeile was  marketed in the UK as Futura Display. 

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