East London Portfolio:Graphics and Graffiti

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John does not see any absolute distinction between graffiti and graphics, both are representations of language – whether graven on walls or painted on fascias – and they spoke to him in a symphony of diverse cacophonous voices when he walked these familiar streets  “Typography was always around me in the East End, whether I went to the fairground or the market there was always lettering.” he recalled, “So that when I got the job at McCann Erickson at fifteen and met Robert Brownjohn, one of the finest typographers, my eyes were already open to the power of typography, how it communicates on many levels and how it can take you places emotionally.”

Excerpt taken from an interview with gentle author, Spitalfields Life, who first published these photographs.
To read the full interview and see the remaining 14 photographs in this series, Click Here.

Bethnal Green, 1969.

Urinal, Spitalfields, 1969.
“Wages not war profits. Houses not subs. Tory or Labour = Tory. Fight for a wage increase.”

Mixed Spice, 1976. “In the old spice warehouse in Wapping. I just thought
these stencils were beautiful, used and put back on the table.”

Window, Spitalfields, 1968.
“It was a derelict place but someone had pinned up this delicate stuff.”

Laurel Tree, Brick Lane, 1960s. “It’s an Asian barber now.”

Grocer’s Window, Spitalfields, 1964.

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