The release of the ’08 Frank Guille Special’ from Baseline, jogged my memory back to the brilliant Baseline 60 ‘Frank Guille Geometrics’ feature — Thanks to Hans Dieter Reichert and David J Lewis for the images and information.
Frank Guille, former tutor at the Royal College of Art explores proportion theory in his ‘Geometrics’ project. His geometric graphic shapes are influenced and inspired by sculptors Ann Christopher and Edwardo Chillida, whilst sharing a similar visual vocabulary to that of type design.
From ‘Baseline’ magazine / blog
Frank Guille contributed to Baseline 60 with his graphic letter compositions. They have clear, concise forms and are created in natural, harmonious colour combinations.
Frank was foremost a furniture designer and later teacher and Head of Furniture Design at the RCA London. Born in 1927, he was taught by Robin Day and John Cole at the Beckenham School of Art. Following a spell of service with the Royal Navy, Frank was taught Furniture Design by Gordon Russell, also Danish designer Kaare Klint, who are amongst the most important ‘modern’ furniture designers. Following two years of experience with modernist architect Wells Coates he set up his own design company.
Guille’s furniture designs were led by his belief in function, utility and simplicity. His elegant furniture was visually simple and refined and he took commissions from Heals and Kandya Ltd. For the latter, he designed a re-style of a stacking chair – the Jason chair, originally designed by Carl Jacobs. The seat was constructed from a single sheet of beech laminate with a steel leg base, opposed to Jacobs original wooden legs.
Guille’s line of kitchen furniture for Kandya Ltd was based on a modular system and gave customers a choice of different layouts for their units. There were options of sliding glass doors and large pull-down doors, painted in combinations of fresh earthy colours. His unconventional modern designs were showcased in the 1951 Festival of Britain. Nowadays Guille’s furniture is well sought after, sadly not many of the high quality items remain.