Frederick Charles Herrick, graphic artist
Frederick Charles Herrick was a leading graphic artist for many decades following the First World, having trained at Leicester School of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. He taught at Brighton for many decades, particularly after the Second World War, also teaching at the Royal College of Art and the Sir John Cass Institute.
A highly productive poster artist for almost half a century, Herrick’s work was widely known to many through his involvement with major public organisations. He designed numerous posters for the London Underground and London Transport as well as the London General Omnibus Co and, as a result, his striking images were a familiar visual dimension of commuter life in the metropolis. He also designed the official Lion logo for the Wembley British Empire Exhibition of 1924 and 1925: featuring on almost all official print publicity and leaflets for the Exhibition, his design was highly visible to the 27 million visitors who visited the mammoth display over the two seasons it was open. The Lion also appeared on many souvenirs, including those produced by Ashtead Pottery, Paragon China, Savoy China and Wedgwood Jasparware. He was also, with many other leading artists, commissioned to design posters and publicity for the Empire Marketing Board (1926-1933): these evocative images were displayed on large stand-alone billboards the length and breadth of the country. He was the only British graphic artist of consequence to participate in the 1925 Paris Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. Herrick was also very much involved with the Baynard Press which produced many high quality artistic images since its establishment in 1894, particularly those for London Transport.
At Brighton his classes included mural work, a field for which Brighton was well-known, overseeing, for example, a student commission to produce murals for Brighton Girls Club (1943). This involved a series of 8 feet square panels with examples of women’s heroism, such as Grace Darling and Elizabeth Fry. John Lord recalled his memories of Herrick in the 1960s: ‘[He] taught in the next room to me in the old art college building. I think he thought I was far too young to be teaching at the time and had the annoying habit of addressing me as “boy” when referring to me or asking me a question. Otherwise he was a charming gentleman of the old school, very strict with the students but he couldn’t tolerate it if they didn’t enjoy hand lettering.’