A colourful map of the United Kingdom on its side, showing the Wireless stations locations around the country (1939). Produced for the General Post Office and designed by Max Gill.

Post Office Wireless Stations, 1938. Produced for the General Post Office.

A wide range of Max Gill’s (1884-1947) works were brought together in a pioneering exhibition held at the University of Brighton Gallery July 22 – August 31, 2011. Max Gill (1884-1947) was an artist and designer of remarkable versatility. An illustrator, letterer, map-maker, architect, decorative artist and mural painter, he is perhaps most widely known for his pictorial maps and graphic designs for transport and communications companies.

From his commercial posters to his public information maps and from his humorous and populist style to his enduring memorial lettering, Max Gill’s work touches on a wide range of social, political and cultural issues of the first half of the twentieth century. The show at the University of Brighton offered unprecedented opportunity to experience in one exhibition the richness of his contribution to the visual arts.

For the past seven months, Design Archives’ Sirpa Kutilainen has worked as a part of the exhibition team. With paper conservator Melissa Williams, she worked on conserving many of the pieces on display as well as writing a personal account of this work, and accompanying digitisation challenges, in the ‘Conserving the archive’ blog.

Launching today, a digital resource hosted by the Design Archives, has been compiled to accompany the exhibition. This builds on digital expertise within The Design Archives and provides a legacy of the exhibition content. One feature of the resource invites the public to share their stories and experiences about the work of Max Gill.