The Library was launched on 11th February 2017, 100 years after Jock Kinneir’s birth. For a comprehensive introduction to Jock Kinneir’s life, work, and teaching, please read his biography by Robin Kinross.

The Library will continue to grow as more interviews, presentations, and other records are gathered. To follow the most recent additions, check the Activity Log.

We are always keen to hear from anyone who has memories or material relating to his life, practice, teaching or talks. Please contact us if you are able to contribute. If you’d like to be kept up to date on its development, please sign up to our newsletter.

About Jock Kinneir

Jock Kinneir was an important and influential British graphic designer working from the late 1950s to 1980. His user-centred approach to design and typography emphasised the importance of clarity and rationalism to public design practice, and remains relevant and inspiring to the design world of today.

Kinneir is best known for his work in partnership with Margaret Calvert, one of his former students at Chelsea College of Art, where they began a professional relationship that would go on to define the graphic identity of Britain.

Together, they were responsible for conceiving, testing and implementing the UK’s road signage system, including the pair of typefaces that defined it: Transport and Motorway. Despite a few tweaks and additions since it was introduced, their system remains largely unchanged today – over 50 years since Kinneir and Calvert created it. As well as becoming the unofficial ‘house style for Britain’, it has influenced the design approach to way-finding worldwide.

Less is known about Jock as a teacher – the time spent with the Royal College of Art’s Graphic Design course from 1964, including his five years as head of department, his work with the College’s Unicorn Press, and talks he gave internationally.

Jock and his wife Joan left three children and seven grandchildren.

Jock Kinneir in front of an ‘End of Clearway’ sign. Photograph gifted by the Stanley Gibbons archive