Crosby | Fletcher | Forbes

Text: Mike Dempsey

The idea of bringing Crosby into the fold came from Forbes, who felt that the notion of being involved with buildings and interiors would give them greater design possibilities. Alan could see the potential of this and agreed. Gill was not so sure but went along with it anyway. But in a short space of time Gill’s patience wore thin. He found the whole protracted world of architecture infuriating, preferring the immediacy of graphics. As a hot-headed and opinionated character he was always destined to work under his own remit and so, three short years after joining, one of the key figures in Britain’s most influential graphics trio packed his portfolio and left.

Eventually the new, wider design offer did lead to bigger and higher profile clients, with the new trio dealing with decision makers at the top of the pile, rather than underlings. Shell, Arthur Andersen, Reuters and Canard all became significant clients. They settled in to build on their dream.
The early 1970s saw significant growth and the three partners now had teams of assistants and often collaborated with external established designers. As with many companies of a certain size talks of expansion present themselves. They had been in conversation with the product designer Kenneth Grange and one of their own associate designers, Mervyn Kurlansky, about formalising a new partnership.