Designers and design companies

Below are a variety of designers who have become known for a particular style or approach to design:

Graphic designers

Harry Beck

A map of the London underground.

Harry Beck was a technical draughtsman who redesigned the London Underground map. It was a radically different map to anything produced before but was soon copied by many other cities.

Textile designers

Coco Chanel

A black and white photograph of Coco Chanel wearing a coat and hat.

Coco Chanel was the founder of one of the world’s most famous fashion names. She was known for her trademark suits and interpretations of the ‘Little Black Dress’, and produced what is now considered examples of classic design.

Vivienne Westwood

A photograph of Vivienne Westwood in front of a black backdrop with her arm on her hip.

Westwood brought punk fashion to the fore in the 1970s. Her fashion collections are often inspired by historical paintings and costumes showing pirates and witches.

William Morris

A pink and blue floral wallpaper design with birds.

Williams Morris was a designer and artist best known for his bold, nature-themed fabric and wallpaper prints. He was part of the Arts and Crafts movement, with a love of craftsmanship and a hatred of mass-produced products.

Architectural designers

Marcel Breuer

A black and white image of a metal framework chair.

Breuer was one of the world’s most popular architects of the 20th century. Before he was an architect, he designed and made a series of design classic chairs, including the Wassily chair and bicycle-handle inspired tubular steel chairs.

Norman Foster

A landscape skyline photo of London featuring The Gherkin.

Foster is an architect who specialises in glass and metal buildings such as The Gherkin and Millennium Bridge in London.

Product designers

Ettore Sottsass

A colourful abstract bookcase displayed in an art gallery.

Sottsass was the founder of the Memphis movement. As an architect and designer he was known for geometric shapes and bright colours.

Raymond Templier

Two gold and precious stone Art Nouveau rings are displayed side by side.

Templier was a jewellery designer in the Art Deco geometric style.

Design companies

Alessi

A large and small kettle made with a reflective material placed side by side.

During the 1970s, Alberto Alessi began employing product designers to make original and fun designs for everyday kitchen equipment. The bright colours and stylish designs were mass produced and affordable to everyone.

Apple

A turned on white iPhone 6 placed on a modern wooden table.

Jony Ive led the design team at Apple who focussed on simplicity in design to create the iPod and iPhone. Their concentration on intuitive design combined with sleek edges has become instantly recognisable.

Dyson

A close-up image of a modern Dyson vacuum cleanera with four wheels and a ball in the centre.

Sir James Dyson reinvented the vacuum cleaner to no longer need a bag. He famously prototyped thousands of designs before refining his cyclone-suction, bag-free design.

Textiles design companies

Primark

The front of a Primark store with a big crowd walking past outside.

Originally from Ireland and called Penneys, Primark specialises in the production of fast-fashion clothes. They are mass-produced, meaning they are low cost and can be changed regularly to keep up with market trends.

Under Armour

An Under Armour shopfront inside a shopping centre with two women walking past.

American footballer Kevin Plank started this sportswear company with an undershirt that could wick away sweat. The company now sells a range of sports equipment.

Gap

A GAP shopfront with people walking past.

Opened in America in 1969, the Gap shop specialised in everyday jeans and shirts. Through creative advertising and staple products, they have maintained popularity across the world.

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