“On the night of 8 May 1941 German aircraft drop 157 tonnes of high explosive and 20,000 incendiary bombs onto the city of Hull. 116 people are killed and 160 more are seriously injured. The Osborne Street site, with its machinery, stocks and the company archive is reduced to rubble. By a miracle there are no casualties. Within 48 hours enemy bombs completely demolish G . F Smith’s office on Turnmill Street in London.”
“Within days the two offices are back up and running. The Hull staff relocates to a large house with a garage and outbuildings in the city’s Avenue district and in London, the staff move to the Area Manager’s home in Hertford for the remainder of the war.”
“Students at the London College of Printing are set a design brief as part of their course to produce a corporate identity for the company. The work of David Craddock is so exceptional that the Board immediately purchases it from him. Bill Mackay then incorporates the new logo into all the company’s stationery, sample books and promotions.”
Creative Review has more info on the rebrand.
Here’s a nice piece of copy from the end:
“You think of your printed matter as so many thousands of pieces to be sent to a ‘list’ but the list is compiled of individual Jim’s and Jack’s, or Betty’s and Anne’s who see but one copy apiece.
“They do not know how large an edition you have printed. They do not know that such and such a printer would have done the job for less money.
“They do not know, nor do they care, anything at all about the expenses, difficulties or printing problems involved in getting out your printed matter.
“They only know that in their hands is a booklet. One booklet.
“They are either impressed or unimpressed.
“In that one copy is your opportunity.
“Make that one copy rise to it.”
And here’s a quick look at the skills within the company's Hull production house.
G . F Smith’s story is online, too.