Phil Baines

The artist that I chose for my project is Phil Baines. In 1958, He was born in Kendal, Cumbria, Cumbria is a small county in northwest England. Phil Baines did not immediately begin in the world of Graphic Design. Before pursuing graphic design, Phil Baines went to school and studied to become a Roman Catholic priest at Ushaw College, Durham. He did not end up finishing his schooling at Ushaw College, and instead dropped out after his third year at the school. After a year or so, he decided to study the art of Graphic Design. He initially attended a foundation course at Cumbria College of Art and Design, then proceeded to move to London to study the subject more substantially. He studied at St Martin’s School of art from 1982 to 1985. During these few years, he met his wife Jackie Warner among other people who would eventually become his peers.  After finishing his bachelor’s in graphic design, he attended the Royal College of Art and graduated in 1987 with a master’s in Communication Arts and Design. In 1988 he started to teach classes at St. Martin’s and eventually became a ‘Subject Leader’ for Typography in 1991. Following this he joined the Higher Education Academy in 2002 and became what they called a ‘Fellow’. In 2006, Baines became an official professor for St Martin’s and has resided there since.  An interesting thing regarding his graphic design work and his college campus is that he gets to experiment with his ideas on the campus. In various collegiate promotional material, he gets to design the fliers and poster designs. His style is much more abstract and creative then some of the more simply structured fonts and designs. His involvement with his campus goes beyond simply teaching and designing promotional materials too. Beginning in 1995, Baines started to accept some of his previous students and take them on as assistant designers. These assistant designers have assisted him in further research into typography and many of them have gone on to teach at Central St. Martins. One notable achievement of Baines working with his assistant designer is the creation of Central Saint Martins’ Central Lettering Record, which is a “photographic teaching archive”. 

He began to do freelance graphic design work for various publishers. The most notable and known publishers that he has worked with are Penguin Books, Phaidon, and Thames and Hudson.  Phil Baines is also known for his letterpress work as well as 3authored or co-authored books. Those being the following: Type and Typography with Andrew Haslam (Laurence King 2002); Signs, Lettering in the Environment with Catherine Dixon (Laurence King 2003); Penguin by Design, a cover story 1935–2005′ (Allen Lane 2005); and Puffin by design, 70 Years of Imagination (Allen Lane 2010). Along with his participation in these works, Baines is a common and frequent contributor to “Eye” magazine. There are a plethora of works that he has entirely authored or co-authored. Two of these such works will be discussed in the forthcoming paragraphs, of which will be a poster called ‘Yak’ 2, in 1994, and Penguin by Design: A Cover Story 1935-2005 (2006). 



Central Saint Martins. “Professor Phil Baines.” Central Saint Martins, 9 Apr. 2019,

“Eye Magazine.” Eye Magazine | Feature | Reputations: Phil Baines,

“Phil Baines.” FontShop,