Collection of material relating to the designers and typographers Banks and Miles [Colin Banks; John Miles], assembled by Montague Shaw for his monograph on the firm.

Banks and Miles, designers and typographers [Colin Banks (1932-2002); John Miles; Monty Shaw [Montague Shaw; the Post Office; British Telecom; London Underground]
Publication details: 
Dating from between 1988 to 1991.
SKU: 11123

Monty Shaw's 'Banks and Miles: Thirty Years of Design Evolution' was supposedly published by Lund Humphries (London) in February 1993 but no copy can be found on the internet (one listed on WorldCat appears to be a ghost).. This collection, in a buff card folder, contains material relating to Shaw's monograph, grouped as follows: ONE. Letters to Shaw from Colin Banks: Three Autograph Letters Signed (one 4to, 2 pp; two on compliments slips, 12mo, 1 p), two Typed Letters Signed (both 4to, 1 p), and three Autograph Note Signed (one 12mo, 1 p, also on a compliments slip; two on press releases). Also copy of Typed Letter Signed (folio, 1 p; 16 February 1989) from Banks to John Taylor of Lund Humphries: 'We do wish to move ahead now: our correspondence does add up to a reasonable agreement, [...] We had a long meeting with Monty Shaw (the author) on my return from Bangladesh, and have formally commissioned him to start the work although he has had some material from us from before Christmas.' The copy of the letter to Taylor encloses a copy (folio, 1 p) of 'Banks & Miles book - draft blurb' by 'Colin Banks & Monty Shaw | 16 February 89', and of a 'List of possible commentators in Banks & Miles Book 16 February 1989' (folio, 2 pp). The Banks correspondence includes a Typed Letter Signed, 9 July 1990, responding to the news of Shaw's ill health: 'I was quite shaken by your news. [...] The P[ost]. C[ard]. was a bit like the leaf carried by the pigeon - there is dry land ahead.' He goes on to say that John Taylor at the publishers Lund Humphries has 'known for over two weeks now and I have not had a response'. States that after 'Roly Atterbury's Seventieth birthday' he 'went on to peer through the windows of George Buday's summer house in the grounds of a mental hospital at Chislehurst'. Reminisces about a previous visit: 'the strangest sight you ever saw prints, letters, books, old biscuits and wood blocks shoulder high, with just the brass cap of a foolscap Albion poling out of the middle. A narrow corridor half way around this tip where it had been stopped up by an ancient subsidence. Buday sitting on the chair trying to hasten the end by chain smoking - I rather expected to read that it had all gone up in flames.' One Autograph Letter Signed, 26 December 1990, responds to an Autograph Letter Signed from Shaw to C & M on 17 December 1990 (a copy of which - folio, 2 pp - is present here in THREE below) describing his ill health (diabetes followed by heart attack). Shaw comments that 'We have always been a wholemeal bread, white-fish-rather-than-red-meat set-up; non-smoking & moderate drinking - so it all seems a bit unfair.' Banks responds: 'Life is a bugger isn't it - but the alternative is worse - [...] As far as the book is concerned of course we would love to have it underway. However we have no dates in mind although John Taylor may dissent. As it is we have overflowing plates with far more than we can chew [...] We have opened small studio's [sic] in Hamburg and Brussels - they have taken up a lot of time and even more money and will continue to do both for the next few months whilst we consider to close down or retrench in London.' TWO: Typed Note Signed to Shaw from John Miles, and ('pp. John Miles') a typed 'list of interviews', falling into the categories: 'Clients with whom we have worked closely and produced good work', 'Designers/managers who we have worked with and have become friends', 'Other designers whose respect we think we might have' and 'GOM of Design'. THREE: Copies of two Autograph Letters Signed and two Typed Letters Signed (totalling 5 pp, folio) from Shaw to B & M. On 4 February 1989 Shaw suggests the 'simpler and straight-forwarder [the title] the better', his suggestion (the one adopted) being 'Penny plain'. Letter of 17 December 1990 (quoted in ONE above), beginning 'No, I haven't died, but it's the highest of high times that you heard from me.' FOUR: Press release with autograph note from Colin Banks, 24 January 1991, enclosing a copy of 'Banks & Miles London Design and Topography' brochure (London: Battley Brothers, undated [1991]). FIVE: Letters of various lengths, responding to requests from Shaw for interviews regarding B & M from: Lord [Paul] Reilly ('You don't go to Banks and Miles in search of excitement or eccentricity, but you go looking for clarity, modesty, and an Englishness that is as refreshing as spring sunshine.'), Alex Moulton, Milner Gray, Lida Lopes Cardozo ('David [Kindersley] definitely does not want to write a piece himself, but with clever questioning I think you should get a lot out of him.'), Kenneth Grange of Pentagram, Dick Negus, Stuart Rose, Melvin Lasky. SIX: Autograph Letter Signed (folio, 1 p) to Shaw from Hans Reichert of B & M, 15 March 1990, sending 'the first series of tape recordings with Colin and John since autumn last year' (not present); with autograph notes by Shaw (folio, 9 pp) made from Reichert's interviews with B & M. SEVEN: Copies of five press releases (totalling 12 pp, folio) by B & M ('Summary of Projects', 'Royal Society of Arts - Green Award', 'February 1989 Design Press Release', 'Press Release 10 March 1989'); including one with autograph note by M, 6 February 1989. EIGHT: Small folder of material relating to the production of the 'Banks & Miles Book'. NINE: Two Typed Letters Signed (both folio, 1 p) from John Taylor of Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd, regarding the book, one enclosing two catalogues. TEN: Copy of typed letter from Shaw to B & M, 28 April 1989, containing five notes, ending with 'One day I shall learn to tabulate.' ELEVEN: Copy of typed section (folio, 10 pp) of the book, titled 'Banks & Miles: An Introduction'. TWELVE: Corrected typed drafts (totalling 7 pp, folio) of sections of the book, titled 'The Telephone Book Story', 'The Post Office Story' and 'British Telecom'. THIRTEEN: Preparatory autograph notes by Shaw (folio, 4 pp) of questions to ask B & M, headed 'The Life, Times & Hopes of Banks & Miles'. FOURTEEN: 4to 'Silvine' notebook containing 18 pp of autograph notes for the book by Shaw. FIFTEEN: Typed press release for Shaw's work (folio, 1 p). SIXTEEN: Copies of letters from Shaw to various individuals, requesting interviews. EIGHTEEN: Copy of the newsletter of the Society of Graphic Designers, July 1989, in large part devoted to B & M. NINETEEN: 1989 Keepsake invitation by B & M, printed on brown paper in olive green, brown and grey, 'to celebrate 31 years [...] at 7.30 pm Midsummer Eve in our new studio'.