I am a London-based designer specialising in the interiors design of books and other editorial matter. This is a cluster of some design work and personal projects, old and new. If you click on the images here you will be able to read a summary of the project and go on to albums showing the work in more detail.

Richard Marston

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London Underground by DesignPenguin Books, 2013220 x 183 mm
A design history of the London Underground network, including buildings, tickets, trains and tiles; signage, posters, maps and the well-known network diagram.
Chapters begin with a double page opening image, followed by an introduction. Short biographies of important contributors are placed in the margins and the portraits here are monotones to give a distinctive appearance to these sections.
The main integrated sections of each chapter feature long, single paragraph captions and quite a lot of variously shaped images. Captions are mostly placed on the outer columns, or kept as tidy as possible. To fit in the large quantity of material the images were generally placed in the centre of the double page spreads. There is a lesser amount of space between certain related images, creating groups where these could be arranged, so that a block of numerous images can be sub-divided into more digestible chunks. Pages with posters are arranged in a simple grid form, but with some notable posters displayed larger to create focal points and a change of visual pacing. 
Typeface: New Johnston TfL
Hampstead branding
In the affluent hilly neighbourhood of Hampstead, North London, the streets are notable by an effort to retain the older ceramic tiled method of signing the dense knot of streets and pathways that lie on the west side of Hampstead Heath.Once an isolated village overlooking London, Hampstead was eventually absorbed during the 19th century as the metropolis went through one of its growth spurts. Hampstead became part of the County of London in 1889 and in 1899 the Metropolitan Borough of Hampstead was formed, which included the (then) newly developed suburbs to the west as far as Kilburn High Road. The area is now part of the borough of Camden, but, unlike other parts of the borough, there has been a conscious effort to retain the ‘village’ identity in this aspect of signage, so that it now has the feel of heritage branding, evoking nostalgia for the Arts & Crafts movement. In ‘old’ Hampstead village this goes as far as the introduction of a facsimile version of the lettering on freestanding street furniture in places where new signs are required. The original tiles apparently date back to the late-nineteenth century, possibly made by the Minton Hollins factory, one of the Staffordshire potteries that had earned a reputation for architectural tile work in London during the nineteenth century. It is likely though that much of the tiling was applied in the early years of the twentieth century, following the creation of the Borough of Hampstead, and before 1917, when the London postcode system incorporated number sub-divisions to improve postal efficiency. This postcode change necessitated sometimes awkward amendments to many of the tiled signs in places where space was insufficient.  In a few locations it is still possible to spot remnants of painted names that pre-dated the tiles; elsewhere modern signage sits alongside, prompting comparisons and a sense of how local authorities’ territorial branding has become more self-conscious and overt in the years since the abolition of an overall metropolitan authority in the 1990s. Modern signs have become part of a borough’s corporate identity arsenal, serving the public as a location identifier but also acting as giant business cards for the authority. There are a mixture of typographic styles: the large-sized main lettering is a sturdy Clarendon style of slab serif; for much of the smaller words a lighter Clarendon is used; a sloping sans serif is used for directions; even a Victorian gothic style appears, for identifying Hampstead on streets located near the old metropolitan borough boundary. In addition there are a variety of pointing fists, abbreviations and decorative numbers. As an aspect of legibility, predictable locations are essential. A passer-by can expect to find them on boundary walls near the corner of a street or opposite a junction. Sometimes this will cause the tiling to appear almost at floor level on a low boundary wall; at other times the only available space will be the side of a building, often above ground floor window level. The tiles were applied by cutting into the brickwork so that the tile surface was flush with that of the wall. There are two sizes of tile, both based on the height of a standard brick: tiles for street names are two bricks tall, with smaller tiles used for supplementary information being single brick height. The sometimes eccentric-looking layout of tiles usually conforms in some way to the pattern of surrounding brickwork: vertical mortar joints made for convenient and tidy-looking guide lines and rows of tiles would be affected by unevenly laid or sagging rows of bricks. In such a way the tiles can’t help but reflect the character-quality of the walls they are mounted on.For all this whimsical appeal, what I like most about them is that the original tiles are firmly integrated into the surface of the architecture and as a result do their bit to avoid cluttering up the area with yet more street furniture. Messy or neat, eccentric or elegant, the names of the streets are literally bonded to the buildings that stand on them.
Simple StargazingCollins, 2005246 x 189 mm
A guide book to the night sky, aimed at a youngish, mass market readership. For the main core of the book, the author had created numerous differently-sized star charts of the various constellations to be found in the northern and southern hemispheres during the seasons of the year. To integrate these flexibly without numerous block-like shapes tied too rigidly to a grid-based layout, I changed the hard edged rectangular charts into a more fluid, vignetted style that could allow for variations in size and shape. Combined with photographs and telescope views I was able to integrate these into the layouts in a distinctive and visually pleasing way.Typefaces: Fresco, Fresco Sans. 
The Hare With Amber EyesChatto & Windus, 2011225 x 160 mmIllustrated biography. The book follows the fortunes of a once fabulously wealthy middle-European family, from late 19th-century Paris and the Impressionists, through inter-war period Vienna and the Anchluss, to post-war Tokyo. As well as a number of straight documentary photographs, there were many original family photographs and books. I decided that this archive material should be presented in a way that was different to the others, by showing them less fixed to the formal alignments of the page’s margins and sometimes even placed at a slight angle, as if they had fallen onto the page and been left in the book like pressed flowers. This was intended to emphasize their status as archive material – objects – that belong to the family members in the narrative and so contrast to the rather neutral contemporary images of art and interiors supplied by photo libraries.Typefaces: Fournier, Scala Sans
London CallingAtlantic Books, 2010234 x 156 mm
A counter-cultural history of twentieth-century bohemian, beatnik, hippie, punk and alternative London.Typefaces: Grotesque MT, Swift.
Visual Noise — cycling graffiti
Famous namesInfamous namesForgotten names