Kemistry plans National Centre for Graphic Design

Kickstarter campaign aims at giving the design profession an equivalent to the Photographer's Gallery in London.

Friends of Kemistry outside its current home on Charlotte St, Shoreditch

Kemistry is one of the UK's leading exhibitors of graphic design. They've made the careers of the likes of Ben Eine and Anthony Burrill, and showcased legends like Saul Bass and Milton Glaser.

Earlier this year, they were informed by their landlord that they needed to vacate the building by January. In a true case of being handed lemons and deciding to make lemonade, the organisation has used this as a spur to relocate and create a bigger, better centre for designers. And the ambition is that it will become a "National Centre for Graphic Design".

The current gallery faces closure following the impending redevelopment of its current home

The idea is to create a centre for designers, in London, that is something akin to the Photographer's Gallery, with a shop, a research and education space, a bookshop and of course the gallery. To turn this dream into a reality, for Kemistry is putting on a pop up show early next year to help fundraise for the new centre.

"The time has come for Kemistry Gallery to stand on its own two feet," says Ricky Churchill, Kemistry's head of production. "Not just financially but creatively independent of Kemistry the design agency, and truly become the centre for discovering the very best work in graphic design."

Kemistry has already received support from the Arts Council to help them complete the project and today, Friday 31 October, it's launching a campaign on Kickstarter to raise enough money to put on the show: Kemistry, 10 Years 60 Works.

Top designers such as Jean Julien and Geoff McFetridge are contributing to the pop-up exhibition

Rewards on the Kickstarter include limited edition posters and prints, a new book and a top prize of spending a day printing with Anthony Burrill. You can contribute to the campaign and find out more here.


Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design and technology. He was previously associate editor at Creative Bloq and deputy editor at net magazine, the world’s best-selling magazine for web designers. Over two decades in journalism he’s worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella. Follow him on Twitter @tom_may.