The archive comprises correspondence pertaining to de Majo's work with design organisations including ICOGRADA; design materials, related papers and photographs representing a range of his work for various clients.
Willy de Majo Archive
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
William Maks de May was born in Vienna, to Yugoslav parents, in 1917. He was trained at the Vienna Handelsakademie and established his own design business in Belgrade in 1935. Moving to Britain in 1939, he joined the RAF in 1941 and after the war re-established his design practice in London. De Majo was appointed consultant designer to Miles-Martin Pen Co., Miles Aircraft and Henry Lunn Ltd., W & A Gilbey, John Millar & Sons and later, Charles Letts & Co. Ltd. He offered services in graphic, industrial and exhibition design, corporate identity, packaging, and product development, as his entry in 'Who's Who in Graphic Art' (1962) described, 'his designs range from visiting cards to interiors of airliners'. In 1951, Willy de Mayo acted as co-ordinating designer of the 'Farm and Factory' exhibition held in Northern Ireland as part of the Festival of Britain. His wife, Veronica, designed a striking outdoor mobile as part of the display: she also assisted with many other projects. De Majo made a presentation at the Aspen International Design Conference in 1953 and in 1963 became the founding president of the International Council of Graphic Design Associations. His ability to speak several languages made him an effective advocate, and he was Chairman of the Icograda Congress in Zurich (1964) and in Bled (1966). His role in representing the design profession at an international level was significant and in 1969 he was awarded the SIAD Design Medal for International Services to Design and the Profession. He received various awards from design associations overseas.
Willy de Majo MBE, MSIA died in 1994. A memorial event was held at the London offices of Pentagram, on behalf of the Society of Typographic Designers, the Chartered Society of Designers and in association with Icograda.
The archive comprises the following series:
WDM/1 Correspondence regarding work for various clients, and with design organisations such as ICOGRADA
WDM/2 Artwork and examples of design work
WDM/3 Photography, including b/w prints, colour transparencies and albums.
Conditions Governing Access
Researchers wishing to consult the collection should make an appointment. Telephone 44 (0)1273 643217 or email email@example.com
Transferred to the Design Archives by the de Majo family in 2009.
Fonds level record created by Catherine Moriarty in 2009, and extended by Sue Breakell in March 2010.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission must be sought to publish any material from the collection. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently under appraisal.