Design Advice

Scope and Content

The overwhelming majority of files relate to the 1940s – 1960s. The longest sequence of files (14 files numbered DCA/24/376) relate to the Advisory Committee set up to consider the design of postage stamps on behalf of the General Post Office, and on which the Council was represented. Other files cover the provision of advice to (eg.) the Ministry of Education on the design of school furniture; the Bank of England on bank notes; and Littlewoods Stores Ltd. There are also files documenting the short-lived Design Committee, and the long-running Council scheme to match designers with manufacturers" requirements.

Administrative / Biographical History

The British Board of Trade wished the new Council to act as a focal point for the promulgation of high design standards, so it had provision to respond to specific requests for help and advice on design-related questions, including recommendations of designers. Up to late 1947 when the Council"s initial committee structure was revised, a Design Committee channelled and considered how to respond to all such requests. A Design Advice Section existed, headed by Cycil Tomrley, who continued to manage the Council"s "Record of Designers" until her retirement at the end of 1966.


The surviving files have been retained in their original numeric order as allocated by the Council's Registry. This means that records in a series do not necessarily have consecutive file numbers, and may not be located together.

Archivist's Note

Record created by Lesley Whitworth, with minor amendments by Sue Breakell, 10 August 2010.


Peter Jones, "Posting The Future: British Stamp Design And The "White Heat" Of A Technological Revolution", Journal of Design History, 17:2 (2004), 163 - 176