Signature Style

Accidental Alchemy

Neil Wells


The influence of the typography and graphic arts periodical Signature has long been overlooked. While few people nowadays will have read it, no journal has greater claim to have stimulated the taste that became British neo-Romanticism in the mid-20th century. Oliver Simon, its editor and publisher, was something of an enigma. Although shy, he somehow knew ‘everyone’ in the London literary and arts scene during the 1930s and ‘40s, eliciting adventurous art from his contributors – young artists working in commercial art to pay the bills, among them Paul Nash, John Piper and Graham Sutherland.

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