Frederick Henri Kay Henrion

Biography

Corporate identity, house styles, exhibitions, industrial design. Jewish; French mother. F.H.K. Henrion (the form of his name he later used) was born 18 April 1914 in Nuremberg. 1935: worked in a Paris textile design studio for about two years before training at the Paul Colin School of Graphic Design. (Henrion’s brief autobiography in Designer, May 1979, has a confusing sequence here: ‘[Soon after] the weekend the Germans invaded France [1940]…I was asked by Air France to design its pavilion [at the Tel Aviv Levant Fair]. So I went to Palestine, and arrived the same day the Arab Jewish war started…I got a job doing murals for some of the local pavilions.’ There he was asked by the British Crown Agents to design posters, in London. July 1936: moved to London, forming his studio. 1937: worked on the Publicity Pavilion for the Paris International Fair, and the MARS (Modern Architectural Research Society) exhibition in London. He also worked on projects for the 1938 Glasgow Empire Exhibition, and the 1939 New York World’s Fair. 1936-9: divided his time between Paris and London, designing posters, packaging and advertising.

1940: ‘Although I was born in Germany I no longer had a German passport, just French identity papers. I was classed as an enemy alien, and [when France fell]…I was interned for six months on the Isle of Man. So when I came out at the end of 1940, I moved from the IOM (Isle of Man) to the MOI (Ministry of Information) which was rather funny…From being mistrusted to being trusted with secret information all within a week.’ (Designer, May 1979) 1942: became consultant to the exhibitions division of the Ministry of Information, the War Office, the GPO and consultant designer to the U.S. Office of War Information in London.

Henrion was art editor of several journals including Contact, Future, BOAC publications, The Bowater Papers, and others. 1951: designed two pavilions for the Festival of Britain: The Land of Britain and The Country. c1951: studio name: Henrion Design Associates. 1952: designed British Pavilion for the van Riebeeck exhibition, Capetown (architect: Hugh Casson). Later, consultant to the British Transport Commission, to British Olivetti and to numerous other industrial firms. Awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire). Won numerous awards for his poster designs. 1948-50: taught at the (London) Central School of Arts and Crafts, 1951-65 at the Royal College of Art, 1976-9 at the London College of Printing. From 1954: designed numerous covers for the journal Design. 1954-9: Director of Visual Planning at Erwin, Wasey & Co., London. 1965-9: co-ordinating designer of the British pavilions at the Montreal and Tokyo world’s fairs. 1974: studio name changed from Henrion Design Associates to HDA International. 1982: studio name changed to Henrion, Ludlow & Schmidt. President SIAD, 1960-62, AGI, 1963-7, ICOGRADA, 1968-79. Advisor to National Council for Diplomas in Art and Design. Granted MBE, 1952?; FSIA. He died 5 July 1990 in London.

Writings by

    ‘The poster designer and his problems’ (discussion between FHKH and Abram Games), Art and Industry, 1943, v. 35, pp. 17-26 ‘Artist and art-direction’ (discussion between FHKH and de Holden Stone), Art and Industry, 1944, v. 37, pp. 179-84 ‘General design’, Art and Industry, 1948, v. 44, pp. 202-9
  • ‘McKnight Kauffer’, Design, Nov. 1955, pp. 22-3
  • ‘Graphic design in England’ (speech at 1956 International Design Conference, Aspen), Print, v. X, no. 4, Aug/Sept 1956, pp. 49-51
  • ‘Graphics in context’ (review of Graphis Annual 1956/7), Design, May 1957, p. 45
  • ‘Whither graphic design?’, Penrose Annual, 1962, pp. 1-7
  • ‘HDA International, London’ (corporate identity for C&A), novum, March 1977, pp. 4-12
  • ‘The client is lagging behind’, Print, v. XVI, no. 3, May/June 1962, p. 21 ‘Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI). Retrospective show in New York’, Graphis 129, 1967, pp. 66-75, 90, 92
  • Design Coordination and Corporate Image (with Alan Parkin), London: Studio Vista, and New York: Reinhold, 1967
  • ‘Semiotics – not semi-idiotics’, Penrose Annual, 1969, pp. 189-95
  • ‘A little scandal in the street’ (on the work of A.M. Cassandre), Penrose Annual, 1970, pp. 25-39
  • ‘Will Burtin’ (obituary), TypoGraphic, no. 1 [1972]
  • ‘The rules of the game’ (text of a talk, 1973), TypoGraphic (journal of the ISTD), 1973/4
  • ‘Design’s debt to Ashley’ (on A. Havinden), Penrose Annual, 1974, pp. 33-46
  • ‘How F.H.K. Henrion, designer, became HDA International’, Designer, May 1979, pp. 14-16
  • ‘Creative design and the computer’, TypoGraphic, 1980
  • ‘Grapus’ (Parisian design group), Typos (London College of Printing), Summer 1981, pp. 25-32
  • ‘George Him’ (obituary), Design, July 1982, p. 9
  • Top graphic design (Otl Aicher and others), Zurich: ABC Editions, 1983.
  • Walter Amstutz (ed.), Who’s Who in Graphic Art, Zurich: Amstutz & Herdeg Graphis Press, 1962. , 1962

Writings about

  • 1936-50: Alec Davis, ‘Henrion – designer’, Art and Industry, Dec. 1936, pp. 238-40
  • Eric Newton, ‘The poster in war-time Britain’, Art and Industry, 1943, v. 35, pp. 2-16 ‘Paul Colin looks at the world’s war posters’, Art and Industry, 1945, v. 39, pp. 87-90 ‘The Dutch fighting spirit 1939-45. The propaganda poster in the liberation of Holland’, Art and Industry, 1946, v. 41, pp. 41-6 Noel Carrington, ‘British poster art during the war’, Graphis 14, 1946, pp. 172-85, 271-3 Donald McCullough, ‘Press advertising in Great Britain’, Graphis 14, 1946, pp. 238-49 F.L. Billows, ‘S.I.A.’ (Society of Industrial Artists), Graphis 14, 1946, pp. 250-57 ‘British poster designers know their job’, Art and Industry, 1948, v. 44, pp. 42-52, esp. p. 47 Art and Industry, 1948, v. 45, pp. 107, 128, 133 (ICI exh. and VD posters, sketches) winner in Vienna International Poster Exhibition, Art and Industry, 1949, v. 46, p. 115 Charles Rosner, ‘Werbegraphik in England’, Graphik, 6, 1949, pp. 238-47 C. Rosner, ‘British commercial art’, Graphis 31, 1950, pp. 206-49, 286-8
  • 1951-9: A. Wannemacher, ‘F.H.K. Henrion’, Graphik, 1951, pp. 196-201 (posters for Punch, Post Office, others)
  • Paul Reilly, ‘The greatest collective achievement of the year 1951’ (Festival of Britain), Graphis 37, 1951, pp. 294-313, 379 Michael Middleton, ‘F.H.K. Henrion’, Graphis 37, 1951, pp. 314-23
  • ‘Exhibition of art for industry in Stockholm National Museum’, Graphik, 1952, pp. 190-97
  • Modern Publicity 1953-4, 1953, pp. 28, 33, 65, 66
  • Misha Black, ‘Colorado conference’ (Aspen), Design, Oct. 1956, pp. 45-7
  • showing of his Bowater house style, Design, Nov. 1956, p. 16
  • Gerda Finsterer-Stuber, Marken und Signete, Stuttgart: Julius Hoffmann, 1957
  • Art & Industry, April 1957, p. 144 (FHKH photo in Reeves ad)
  • Johannes Steinson, ‘F.H.K. Henrion London’, Graphik 12, 1959, pp. 28-31
  • 1960-present: Richard Guyatt, ‘Henri Henrion’ (interview, drawing), Motif 5, Autumn 1960, pp. 8-9 Willy Rotzler, ‘Public signs and lettering’, Graphis 104, 1962, pp. 582-609 Heiri Steiner, ‘AGI’ (report on June conference), Graphis 115, 1964, pp. 430-35 note on FHKH’s Design Coordination, in Graphis 144, 1969, pp. 362, 367
  • Paul Reilly, ‘F.H.K. Henrion, London’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., March 1956, pp. 16-25
  • J.J. de Lucio-Meyer, ‘FHK Henrion, London’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., 1966, no. 4, pp. 10-21
  • Mike Hope, FHK Henrion: five decades a designer (exh. cat.), Stoke-on-Trent: Flaxman, 1989 (includes biblio)
  • Chris Ludlow, ‘FHK Henrion’, Creative Review, Sept. 1990, pp. 57-8
  • Marco Romanelli, ‘In London: FHK (and Marion’s) house’, Abitare, Dec. 1999, pp. 92-9
  • J.J. de Lucio-Meyer, ‘FHK Henrion: LEB Design Manual’, novum, Oct. 1974, pp. 38-49
  • J. Halas, ‘Henrion, Ludlow & Schmidt’, novum, Oct. 1982, pp. 4-11 (renamed from HAD)
  • Kunst im Exil in Grossbritannien 1933-1945 (exh. cat.), Berlin: Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst and Verlag Frölich & Kaufmann, 1986. , 1986
  • J. Halas, ‘50 years of F.H.K. Henrion’, novum, Sept. 1988, pp. 20-27
  • Tobias Christoph, ‘Henrion, Ludlow & Schmidt, novum, March 1989, pp. 6-13
  • Friedrich Friedl, Nicolaus Ott, Bernard Stein, Typography – when/who/how, Cologne: Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 1998., 1998
  • Anton Sailer, ‘[Posters of the] General Post Office in London’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Feb. 1952, pp. 9-17
  • Rudolf Conrad, ‘The British Aluminium Co. Ltd’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Jan. 1954, pp. 20-27
  • brief biography, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Feb. 1957, p. 56
  • J.J. de Lucio-Meyer, ‘The new corporate identity of BEA’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., May 1971, pp. 44-56
  • John Halas, ‘HAD International, London’, novum, Oct. 1978, pp. 5-17 (house style for BDF, Hamburg)
  • Ernst Fischer and others, Buchgestaltung im Exil 1933-1950. Eine Ausstellung des Deutschen Exilarchivs 1933-1945 Der Deutschen Bibliothek. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2003. Very comprehensive. , 2003, biog.: p. 169.

Exhibitions

  • National Museum, Stockholm, 1952
  • London, 1960
  • Munich, 1971
  • Jerusalem, 1984
  • Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin, 1986 (11 items)
  • Staffordshire Polytechnic, Stoke-on-Trent, 1989.