29th December 2020

We are extremely saddened by the passing of our dear friend and colleague Martin Lambie-Nairn, who passed away on Christmas Day at his home in France. 

Martin will forever be remembered and celebrated as one of the leading graphic designers and creative directors of his generation. He was known throughout the industry for kindness, warmth and humour. Martin and his consultancy were responsible for a vast portfolio of iconic broadcast branding, including Channel 4’s original animated “blocks” logo in 1982 and the globe balloon idents used by BBC One from 1997 to 2001. He also co-created the original idea and concept for the hugely successful satirical puppet show and TV series, Spitting Image

Our thoughts are with his family and friends, including his producer Celia Chapman and design director Jason Keeley. Martin was a fantastic champion of Coffee & TV and the studio would not be what it is today without him. The whole team will miss him terribly and we will endeavour to honour his memory through our work.

Coffee & TV’s Creative Director and Co-Founder Phil Hurrell would like to share this tribute to Martin:

“He was a genius and a friend. To a great extent, I owe my career to him and he was like a second father to me. As a fresh-faced 21 year old, I was terrified of him and his perfectionism but he was damned near always right and, anything he asked for, always made it better. 

Everything we did together was fun. There were tense moments, of course, but we always worked out a way through together. He spent his whole life being the best and getting the best from his team. He treated them all with such respect, care and affection, that many stayed with him all their working lives. He fundamentally changed television branding. For many years before we started Coffee and TV, he would badger me about starting out on my own somehow. When I told him that Chops, Truss, Del and I were going to form a small start-up, he patted me on the shoulder and said, “about time dear boy..” and within days had yet another treatment for me to get started upon. 

His trust in me was what gave me the courage to step into the scary world of starting a company.

I learnt a huge amount from him… his approach to a problem, his defence of the creative process, his patience, his communication and presentation skills, and his sense of humour. I’ll miss him very much. I am especially grateful for his unwavering trust in me and for a working relationship that has spanned 35 years and forged such a deep bond.”

Illustration by Brian Grimwood

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