The Design Research Unit (DRU) was Britain’s first consultancy to draw together expertise in architecture, graphics, and industrial design.

Ilford Limited (photographic materials), 1966.

Design Research Unit bookSpread from the Design Research Unit monograph by Michelle Cotton.

Founded in 1943 by advertising entrepreneur Marcus Brumwell, architect Misha Black, and graphic designer Milner Gray, the firm’s founding documents fittingly claimed, “Like every aspect of modern industry, design should be a co-operative activity.”

Tarmac seven ts logo, Design Research UnitTarmac (the seven t’s logo), 1964.

British Rail logo, Design Research UnitBritish Rail (double arrow), 1965.

Design Research Unit book

Design Research Unit book

Design Research Unit monograph coverThe agency’s manifesto on the cover of Michelle Cotton’s monograph.

Design Research Unit

The firm was acquired by architectural practice Scott Brownrigg in 2004.

Design Research Unit: the firm that branded Britain, on The Guardian.
DRU, on Wikipedia.



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