Four thousand images from the Design Council Slide Collection have been launched online today, providing a unique insight into the history of British design and its promotion by the UK government from the 1940s to the early 1990s. The Design Council was established in 1944 and is the UK’s national strategic body for design.
The images relate closely to the changing scope and policies of the Council over a period of almost fifty years, providing valuable visual evidence of the ways in which design has been evaluated and promoted throughout this period. They show a wide variety of products such as tableware, furniture, lighting, toys, domestic appliances, textiles, wallpapers, office equipment, engineering components and machinery, as well as other areas of design such as architecture, town planning, interior design, graphic design and corporate identity.
The slide collection was transferred to the Manchester Metropolitan University in 1995, and since then a series of digitisation projects have resulted in over 13,000 images (nearly two-thirds of the collection) being made available online through the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS).
‘Bond Bug’ three-wheeler car made by the Reliant Motor Co. Designed by Tom Karen of Ogle
Design and launched in 1970 © The Design Council/The Manchester Metropolitan University