The death has been announced of UCA alumnus Martin Lambie-Nairn, known and respected worldwide for his highly creative skills in branding and TV production. In addition to his broadcast work, Lambie-Nairn is also credited as the creator of the iconic Spitting Image TV series (below) whose satirical portrayals of politicians and celebrities won it critical and popular acclaim in the 1980s. It was recently revived by ITV at the end of 2020.
Lambie-Nairn attended Canterbury College of Art in the 1960s (now part of UCA) and went on to produce ground-breaking new visual identities for both the BBC and Channel 4 (below). After initially working at the BBC and ITN, in 1976 he founded his own agency with two partners, resulting in four decades of work that shifted the public perception of broadcasters and leading international brands such as HSBC bank and the Royal Opera House.
Moving away from more literal graphics, Lambie-Nairn’s work is distinctive thanks to its innovative exploration of concepts as the basis of visually striking and often witty imagery that defined and reinforced brands. He was adept at using emerging production technologies to incorporate animation and colour to create seductively beautiful and memorable images that were often only on the screen for a few seconds.