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Autonomy: the cover designs of Anarchy, 1961–1970

Daniel Poyner (editor)

  • ISBN


  • extent

    304 pp

  • binding

    sewn & flapped paperback

  • dimensions

    240 x 170 mm

  • illustrations

    10 b&w + 293 colour pictures

Anarchy was a journal of ideas published in London in the 1960s. Although its contributors were many and diverse, Anarchy was essentially the creation of one person, Colin Ward (1924–2010). With this journal, and throughout his work as a writer, editor, and activist, Ward proposed the idea that anarchist principles of mutual aid and autonomous organization outside a centralized state can be achieved here and now. This book gives attention for the first time to the covers of Anarchy, designed mostly by Rufus Segar. These little-known works provided the enticing entry to the plain text pages of the journal. The book reproduces all of the covers in a sequence that suggests, incidentally, something of the history of graphic design in Britain in those years. And it goes beyond the images, with an array of supporting texts that give a full picture of Anarchy and its context.


Daniel Poyner, Introduction

The covers of Anarchy

Raphael Samuel, ‘Utopian sociology’
Daniel Poyner, A conversation with Rufus Segar
Richard Hollis, ‘Anarchy and the 1960s’
Robin Kinross, An index to Anarchy


‘Autonomy’ doesn’t try to present Segar as some great innovator of graphic design. He wasn’t one and makes no claim to be. What the book sets out to do, and it succeeds magnificently without visual or verbal hyperbole, is to enrich and add nuance to our understanding of a 1960s graphic landscape we might think we know inside out by acquainting us with unfamiliar work that provided an important forward-thinking publication with its public face. Segar believed in the journal’s cause and 40 years later, he reports, he and his wife Sheila are still anarchists.
Rick Poynor, Creative Review, January 2013

With a couple of months still to go, I can safely say that this will be my book of the year.
Ross Bradshaw, Five Leaves blog, 10 November 2012: here