Robert Gillmor obituary – Rights History

Robert Gillmor obituary

Artist behind the RSPB’s logo whose vivid illustrations of birds graced the covers of the Collins New Naturalist book series

In 1970, when the RSPB asked the bird artist Robert Gillmor, who has died aged 85, to design their new logo, the species they chose was the avocet. Following a century’s absence, this elegant wader had successfully returned to the UK, to breed on several RSPB reserves.

But, as Robert explained many years later, there was another reason why the avocet was preferred over more common and familiar birds, such as the robin or blue tit. It was black and white, which meant that it could be easily reproduced in the days when colour printing was both expensive and impractical.

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