Peter Campbell

This website is about the work of the designer, writer and illustrator Peter Campbell (1937‑2011). The intention is to present an archive of Peter’s illustration, design and editorial work, as well as occasional selections from his writing. The website is part of a project to catalogue his work and make it more widely available.

Peter Campbell

A great debt of gratitude is owed here to the London Review of Books. Peter wrote in his introduction to At…, a collection of his writing published in 2009 by Hyphen Press: “To have been asked to write, draw and design for the paper over the years has been my great, my absurd, good fortune.” There is little doubt that he would have done notable work if he hadn’t been kept occupied there – projects fell by the wayside – but he probably would have been less productive. He wrote over 300 pieces – more than half a million words – for the paper. At the LRB the cover is given the same serious attention as the content, so for each of Peter’s more-than-400 published covers, he was obliged (only a bit grumblingly) to supply two or three times as many images. These will make up much of this archive.

A couple of dozen pretty pictures are not going to change anyone’s mind about anything, but if you are feeling gloomy a brisk tour of Europe, taking in its people and places, its food and weather, might cheer you up for a minute or two. Most of this set appeared as covers of the London Review of Books.

Colonne Morris
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When asked what he did for a living, Peter would usually say he was a designer or typographer. Designing for print – books, exhibition catalogues, magazines, posters – took up the most of his time, at the BBC in the 1960s and 1970s and thereafter as a freelance. He was also an illustrator, a journalist, an author of children’s books, an editor and a publisher. The great range of his professional work, and his encompassing interest in the work of others, made him a collaborator sought out by writers, publishers and artists. Read more

Late opening
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We have added a new gallery to the archive. ‘Bricks and Mortar’ also includes stucco and stone, clapboard and corrugated iron, interiors and exteriors of, mostly, imagined buildings.

The absurd tower
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More galleries can be found in the images section.

Published by Profile Books in association with the London Review of Books in 2012, Artwork contains a selection of Peter’s LRB covers, as well some of his other work in illustration and book design. With contributions by Bill Manhire and Jeremy Harding, it is available now from the London Review Bookshop.