Archive of Ruari McLean Associates

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive documents the work of Ruari McLean at Ruari McLean Associates, and also contains material produced at Rainbird, McLean. It includes the production of his own books. The material is broadly divided into two groups - files of correspondence (some also containing layouts, artwork, printed proofs or file copies) and file copies of printed work. In addition there are a number of file boxes devoted to particular types of material or particular jobs or clients. Material may appear in either or both size sequences, depending on its format.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ruari McLean (b. 1917) has worked as a designer and typographer in all areas of the printing trade and is also the author of many books, including Victorian Book Design and Colour Printing (1963, new ed. 1972), The Thames & Hudson Manual of Typography (1980) and a biography of the typographer Jan Tschichold (1997). He succeeded Sir Francis Meynell as Typographic Adviser to the Stationery Office (1966-80). Together with George Rainbird he set up the book design and production firm Rainbird, McLean in 1951. Seven years later, when the partnership was dissolved, he was asked by the printer and publisher James Shand to start the art periodical Motif, working with his secretary and later partner Fianach Lawry (ne Jardine). McLean continued to accept freelance projects, and eventually Ruari McLean Associates came into being as a small company specialising in design and print production. They were originally based in London, first in Frith Street and later in Villiers Street, and then in 1973 moved to premises in Dollar, Scotland. By the late 1980s the company had become known as Fianach Lawry Associates.

Arrangement

There are four sequences of containers - standard and quarto archive boxes, octavo and folio pamphlet boxes. Within these sequences the material is arranged alphabetically, usually by the job or client names assigned by the firm.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to all researchers. No reader's ticket is required but an appointment is necessary. Check www.reading.ac.uk/special-collections/using/sc-using.asp for contact details and opening hours.

Acquisition Information

The material was purchased indirectly from Mrs Fianach Lawry in 1992-93.

Note

Description prepared by Bridget Andrews from an original by David Knott.

Other Finding Aids

Personal Names