In its own words, Graphic Thought Facility (GTF) “plays the straight card.” The group has developed an influential body of work with a refreshingly straightforward approach that always manages to surprise. For its particular projects, GTF creates a system or employs a method whereby “ideas design themselves.” Far from mechanistic, this approach results in designs that are unique and distinctively crafted. For an invitation to the exhibition Stealing Beauty at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, they simply used the existing press release as the basis of the design. In a prospectus about the Royal College of Art, GTF presented press clippings about the school’s activities directly from their sources. The group created an identity based on slide mounts as part of the exhibition graphics for Design of the Times, allowing the clients to select any images they preferred. Their work favors ad-hoc assemblages of materials, such as their scrapbook approach to the London College of Printing catalogue, and an exploitation of processes from foil-stamping to lenticular printing and materials ranging from plastics, laminates, variable paperweights, and paper stocks to electroluminescent signage for London’s Science Museum. GTF’s three directors–Andrew Stevens, Paul Neale, and Huw Morgan–have also designed retail products for the Tate Gallery, Earthbaskets tombstone pet memorials, and the customizable Me Box storage system. One of Britain’s most celebrated design firms, GTF has produced work for The Peter Saville Show and Designer of the Year for the Design Museum, London; the graphic identity and materials for the British home furnishings company, Habitat; and print collateral for the 2003 season of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. For more information, read GTF: Bits World, a 2001 publication about their work, or visit www.graphicthoughtfacility.com.