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Richard Beck

British, 1912-1985

Richard Beck was considered one of Australia's leading Modernist graphic designers.

Before migrating to Australia in 1940, British artist Richard Beck had his own design consultancy in London producing promotional designs for London Transport, Shell Mex Ltd and the Orient Line. Beck served with AIF during World War II and after the war established the design consulting firm Richard Beck Associates. Throughout his career Beck remained committed to raising standards in typography, designs for industry and commerce, posters and photography in Australia. He designed the only poster commissioned to officially promote the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, was a member of the design committee for the Olympic street decorations, and was represented in the Design Section of the Olympic Arts Festival.

Beck's most recognised work was his label for Coonawarra wines featuring a woodcut of the winery, which is still in use. He also designed stamps and was on the panel for the design of the Australian decimal currency. Along with Douglas Annand, Beck received the prestigious Fellow of the Australian Commercial and Industrial Artists Association for his contribution to commercial art. His work is held by the National Gallery of Victoria, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the London Transport Museum and the London Design Museum.