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Artist Picture

1907 - ?

Edwin Embleton is most widely recognised for his work as Studio Manager at Odhams Press and, during World War II, in the Publications Division of the Ministry of Information (MOI).

Born in Hornsey London, he studied at Hornsey Art School and did ‘hound work' at a studio off the Grays Inn Road. In 1924 he started work at Odhams Press as a layout and lettering artist, later becoming the Studio Manager.

At the outbreak of hostilities in 1939 Embleton was seconded to the MOI as Art Director and Studio Manager but, although he was a commercial and graphic designer, he did not produce any wartime posters. In charge of the visual aspect of all home and overseas propaganda, he was given a free hand to commission designs from whichever artists and designers he chose.

By the end of the war the MOI was employing up to seventy members of staff. Painters, designers, illustrators, visualisers, layout artists, typographers, retouchers, letterers and calligraphers, cartographers, pictorial statistics and cartoonists were all under Embleton's management - effectively creating an advertising agency within the publication division of the Ministry of Information.

In 1945 as peace was realised, wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill wrote a special letter acknowledging the MOI wartime endeavours, and Embleton, awarded the MBE, ended his secondment and returned to Odhams Press.