A.B. Anthony Burrill

This was an interesting last treat at the Blogtacular conference as we heard from this iconic print-maker, graphic artist and designer. Throughout the speech Anthony Burrill went through his history and how he came to do the work he has done and came up with the famous words of his work.


A.B. Anthony Burrill
Powerful Women, Powerful Words

The start of his inspiration was looking at the suffragettes who fought for women to have the vote. Anthony saw the posters they made and protested with as great means of communication. They expressed the power of words as the bold clear text stands out within the crowds. “Votes for Women” and Meeting places being read for those around them it was a great means of getting information to people and passing it on, not just relying on their spoken words.

A.B. Anthony Burrill
Starting Out

Another inspiration Anthony talked about was the recognisable image of John and Yoko ‘War is Over’ which also used these great bold letters to their posters with their handmade feel and powerful typography. And during these acid house times Anthony started looking into typography with handmade rubber presses. Trying not to go into studio jobs those days and started this project of anti-advertising for this awful hotel he had stayed in. With these hilarious lines like “Now even more dog shit in the main entrance” and “Now a bed in every room”. These were very comical and got the point across to the audiences well, if it’s budget you are looking for look no further, we even have a funny side to it. This actually ended up launching a career in advertising..


A.B. Anthony BurrillWork Hard & Be Nice To People

When Anthony moved away from advertising and to Rye he came across this place Adams of Rye, East Sussex. A print-makers with an old fashioned letter press like those from the 1960’s that had never changed. This was where Anthony went into his own work again creating these wonderful letterpress posters and created his most famous piece, work hard & be nice to people. Which was a phrase he had heard from a Sainsbury’s checkout lady once. This grew his work and he still sells prints of these today.


A fun part of this talk was hearing how Anthony liked to look into how people used his work and where it had been seen. Catching the bold letters in the backgrounds of various scenarios and even tattooed on someone’s body. This is something I know I would love to look into with my own work if I were to become as popular! Learning about an artist life story like this was really intriguing and unique a talk and a truly wonderful creative way to end the great conference at Blogtacular this year, certainly something I would like to look into again in the future! Now to try get my own poster of Anthony Burrill’s work..



– Photograph in Feature Image © Will Ireland

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