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March 2013

Celebrating John Hanna

Cr_articleThe April edition of Creative Review carries an article I contributed on the illustrator John Hanna. Some readers may remember I posted about him in 2009, having stumbled across some copies of a magazine called Country Fair. The original post is here. The cover illustrations were all signed simply ‘Hanna’, but I was surprised to find next to nothing about him online. There was a flurry of comments that confirmed his identity as John Hanna and led to some sketchy biographical information, but then things went quiet.

Early this year, a new comment appeared on the post. It was from John Hanna’s son, Max. We exchanged emails and I ended up meeting him to find out more about his father’s life and work.

To read the full story, you’ll have to track down the Creative Review article – available to buy here or subscribe here

There are a few images that didn't make the article but are worth sharing:


poster for the British Travel Association, featured in the Graphis Annual 1955/6 and found by Sandi Vincent on Flickr. 


Also this detail from a Shell ad, from the Graphis Annual 1956/7, again rediscovered by Sandi Vincent. 


A personal piece, combining a tiger, walrus and kangaroo: the Tigerusaroo.



Two birthday cards lent to me by John's son Max.



And two more Country Fair covers, copyright the estate of Macdonald Hastings, and kindly supplied to me by Jenny Duff, who is now selling a range of John Hanna place mats (echoing a promotion that took place in the 1950s).

The Creative Review article includes an appreciation of the work by contemporary illustrator Joe McLaren, whose work you can see here.


Finally, thanks to Max Hanna for getting in touch and sharing a fascinating story.