Introducing the team: Eve Barker

28 Oct

All Work and Low Pay posterEve Barker was the graphic designer for the All Work and Low Pay exhibition. She’s responsible for, among other things, the beautiful poster.  Here’s what she says about her work history:

“When I was a 19 year old student I designed the typography for the second issue of Archigram, a provocative architects paper in 1961, and also designed International Socialism magazine and worked on Socialist Worker. I finished college and worked for Penguin Books designing publicity and covers. Then I worked above Bertorellis Restaurant, in Fitzrovia, carrying my baby Nicki in a moses basket and running quickly up the stairs to avoid the rats that lurked everywhere. We were designing the typographic parts of Pirelli calendars, famous for their classy nudes. We moved to Covent Garden, fruit and veg market as it was then, and designed colour supplements.

When my children were a bit older I redesigned all the literature for the new Polytechnic of East London, I had to bring my three girls with me when I discussed new work with the principal. I left them in the typing pool which had turned into mayhem with staff crawling all over the floor by the time I fetched them.Eve Barker self portrait

I was a founder member of Artworkers from the 70s to 1997. Starting from a crumbling old building in Mare Street, East London, we designed placards and posters for many radical organisations, trade unions and charities. I designed a book on asbestos that played an important part in getting the use of asbestos banned in Britain, the author and publisher were sued for libel and were bankrupted but luckily I wasn’t targeted and the book got a lot of publicity. We were ordered to tear the offending page out, but no one was checking.

I have designed Hazards, a trade union safety magazine, leaflets for the construction safety campaign and leaflets and posters for Unison. We promoted the use of photographs of women and black people in the union literature, seems so normal now, but once we had to argue that they were the workforce and not some exotic strangers.

Now I work from home, supposedly at a more leisurely pace, I still love my chosen occupation.”

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