Elizabeth Finney heads to the House of Illustration in King’s Cross to speak to curator Olivia Ahmad about how illustrator Enid Marx changed the face of British design in the 20th century
“I fear my insistence on preserving the character of my design may appear unduly meticulous. But I feel very strongly that, if the works draughtsmen are to make free translations of the designs, the full possibilities of the material will never be developed…”
– Enid Marx, letter to Frank Pick, managing director of London Underground and Chief Executive of London Transport, 25 October 1937
Enid Marx was, in many instances throughout her life and career, undeterrable. Born in 1902, she refused to toe the line and as a result became one of the most significant designers behind pattern and print in Great Britain in the 20th century, turning her hand to everything, from illustrations and covers for children’s books to industrial textiles for the London Underground. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of her death, Quentin Blake’s House of Illustration has curated an exhibition dedicated to her work.