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Vale Nicolas Daniels

31 March 2022

Nicolas Daniels 1941 - 2022

Vale Nicolas Daniels, Art Director, Creative Director, Designer, Artisan, Raconteur, Traveller, Bon Vivant.

He was a hard man to put into a neat box.

Nicolas belonged to a grand era of advertising and started his career in the world centre of creativity in the 60’s, London.

He was an Art Director whose work embodied the simplicity and elegance of classic London advertising.

He had an energetic brain and a great eye for style but he also had restless legs and a yearning for travel, so he left London for the emerging advertising industry of Singapore. Goodbye to corduroy pants, woollen jumpers and dashing scarves and hello to linen suits and Gin Slings at Raffles.

During his stints in Singapore, he also managed to visit most corners of the globe with his favourite being France and in particular, Nimes, where his brother Harvey Daniels, a noted British artist, had a holiday home.

From Singapore, Nicolas moved south to Sydney, then a creative centre of note, and ultimately, he brought his talent, style, and stories to Adelaide.

Nicolas was one of the last of the layout pad art directors. He always had a pen and paper and could do a perfect thumbnail of an ad at the drop of a fedora. He was perhaps the last art director of the nondigital era and a victim of keyboard creativity overtaking the power of the well-honed scribble.

Nicolas collected many things in his life. Friends, stories, films, jazz, art (mostly Harvey’s) and unsurprisingly, cigar boxes full of antique wooden type dating back as far as 150 years. He turned this collection into coffee tables, tactile art and a bar which still graces the gathering area of KWP!

The ancient elegance of the type in a modern frame possibly encapsulates Nicolas perfectly.

Vale my friend.

— Peter Withy