Vale Mike Chandler ~ Australia's greatest typographer ~ the larger-than-life Face of Australian print advertising in the 70s, 80s, 90s

Chandler-Mike-88.jpgThe Australian ad industry will be saddened to hear of the passing of Australia's greatest typographer Mike Chandler, who has passed away, aged 74. Chandler, who was inducted into the CB Hall of Fame in 2004, helped improve the work of every single great writer and art director in Australian advertising throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s. Lionel Hunt, Australia's greatest ad man, pays tribute to his old friend.

Mike Chandler, typographer extraordinaire, has died suddenly at his home at Palm Beach in Sydney. He was 74.

After a successful career in London with creative agencies and Face, The Type Workshop he came out to Australia in the 70's where he met the love of his life, Barbi, who pre deceased him 2 years ago.

He started Face in Australia, and being as much an art director as a typographer, he made many an art director's ad look look much better than it had started out.
CHANDLER-fisherman.jpgMike-Chandler-with-horse.jpgAs well as having the uncanny knack of choosing just the right typeface, he could really "pop it down on the page" as he was wont to say.

He charged like a wounded bull, of course, and that's how I think of him now, a great bull of a man wounded by the grief of losing his wife.

Great mate, great wine and food lover, great cook and host, great lunch partner, great fly fisherman, he was actually great at everything he put his hand to.

Great loss.

scomo poster final.jpg(To my knowledge this was the last ad he worked on, with me, a month ago. No client but just a mutual despair at the lack of climate action by our current government. He could pop it down on the page alright. )

Lionel Hunt,
Palm Beach,
January 10, 2019.


Adds CB publisher Michael Lynch: "Very, very sad news, Mike (and Rod Cleary) gave Campaign Brief basically free office space and typesetting (in the days of paste-up) at NorthFace in North Sydney when we first started in 1987, therefore helping us survive that critical first year when money was tight.

"Mike was indeed a giant of Australian advertising, looking exactly like Pavarotti in his prime. He was inducted into the Campaign Brief Hall of Fame in 2004 (click on the pic below). Mike was a great friend of CB and we'll miss him terribly."


UPDATE: Mike's funeral service will take place at 1.30pm this Friday, January 18, at Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium, opposite Northern Suburbs Crematorium, cnr Delhi Road and Plassey Road, Macquarie Park.

Following the service a wake will be held from 4pm to 7pm at the Palm Beach Golf Club, 2 Beach Road, Palm Beach.

Chandler-CB-2004-Hall-of-Fame.jpg

95 Comments

PAUL ALEXANDER said:

I concur.

I had the great pleasure of working with Mike at Draft, sister ship to Lowe Hunt. He was not only great fun to be around but also great at sharing his vast knowledge.

Thanks Big Fella.
Paul A

Mike Preston said:

Very sad news indeed.

I had joy of working with Mike in London. When I arrived in Sydney in 1985 Mike was the first to show me around town and give me some pointers on the ad business and a word of warning "When a supplier tells you, she'll be right. You know your in the shit."

Mike would speak from the heart and was a great influence and support to me and numerous creative people.

Thank you Mike.

Cheers.
Mike Preston.

David Bell said:

What a loss. And so well said Lionel.
Mike was a great inspiration to Art Directors and Copywriters alike. I still have my two spiral bound A3 Face type books guarded in my office. I refer to them often because nothing beats pondering over your work while flicking through a lovely old type book.
DB

Mick Hunter said:

Bye Mike. It was a pleasure working, lunching and laughing with you.

Rocky Ranallo said:

Look how beautiful that ad looks.
Made with consummate skill and pure love for typography.
That is an absolute testament to how good Mike was.
Vale Mike.

Leezy said:


This has gutted me - 'loved working with the the Face of Type - Mike was a real support, inspiration and encouragment to me, when I arrived here fresh out of DDB London in'87 and I thought I'd made a huge mistake leaving the UK.

There's a side-splitting story Mike once told me about his life as an apprentice years ago, that I still dine out on.

What a larger than life man, talent, appetite, love and laughter Mike was. And how greater now is our loss.

Cheers, mate - I'll miss you.

Guy Winston said:

I echo everyone's words. A very sad loss of yet another, great industry craftsman. Mike was brilliant at his job and was one of the most inspiring, entertaining and lovely people, with whom I've worked. Guy Winston

Ron Mather said:

My wife Leoni and I have just lost a very special and much loved old friend.
Mike I hope you are at peace now, reunited with the love of your life.

Sue Carey said:

Thank you so much Mike. You made a huge difference for so many of us.

TERRY COMER said:

A BIG MAN IN SO MANY WAYS. WHEN HE WON A GOLD FOR THE CAMPAIGN I HAD CREATED FOR EDGELL HE GAVE IT TO ME! CAN'T BELIEVE HE'S GONE. I BET THE SEREFIMS ARE WORRIED!

Tony Blackwood said:

Mike
I only knew you in Palm Beach for the last 4 years of your life. We became pretty close in short space of time. We would meet for drinks regularly on Friday’s and I was always amazed at the places you had lived and the work you have done over your life Wow - truly amazing.
Got a few tips on the stock market from you old boy, we dreamed of a life in the Bahamas when the stock came in!
I am going to miss you greatly, as will Kate, Angus and Cleaver.

TB

Mike Doyle said:

I first met Mike at PKL in London where he was hired as Traffic Manager by Dave Ashwell. Legend had it that Mike had managed truck drivers. The rest is history. Mike brought my work on slide to show to agencies and thanks to him championing me I was hired by Di k Greenlaw at Clemenger. If he was a typeface it would be called Legend Bold. Long may he rest in peace improving on Heaven's typography.

Greidy said:

Respect to you and your craft Mike. (And please excuse the sans-serif face.)

Ted Horton said:

There are plenty of people who are good at advertising but very few who change it.
Mike helped change Australian advertising for the better. Vale Mike.

Rod Cleary said:

The best time of my advertising life was when Mike gave me the opportunity to set up NorthFace. Mike was a brilliant mentor, partner and a raconteur that will remember forever.
Mike had a beautiful sense of humour, a massive appetite for everything large, big horses (Shire's), bid reds, big steaks.
Thanks for everything Mike, RIP. Many will miss you.

Grant Booker said:

Oh the halcyon days. When a much younger Art Director, with his writer of course, would swan up from Melbourne to spend nights at The Sebel, The Brasserie, The Manzil and Bennys while Mike and his crew slavishly worked on making your ad look good. We popped in now and again to have a look at the proofs.We didn't really have to. in fact we didn't really have to be in Sydney.

David Blackley said:

Such a passionate man.

Mike did not know the word compromise. He immersed himself totally in what was important to him - his craft of typography, his role as an art director’s art director,
his Barbi, the Shire horses, fly fishing, rare indigenous art, his true friends.

I first met Mike ages ago when I shared an office with Paul Walter at BBDO London.
I vividly remember my late wife Susie, a fellow horse lover, scouring rural England and Scotland with Mike to find champion Shires to ship to Australia to improve the blood lines here. And only recently, Mike emailed me (yet again) about some special indigenous art pieces that he knew were coming up for sale.

The best of the best.

Dick Greenlaw said:

Every word is true, but as always, none better than Lionel's. I remember our first lunch together, and the first fish together. We fished Tassie together for two weeks this past December and our last lunch with our family on Jan 2. Most of the other 40 years are a bit foggy. The best friend I have ever had.

Paul Begg said:

Salute.

Paul Walter said:

When Mike joined us at PKL in London as Traffic Manager he wouldn't have known one typeface from another but like everything that Mike did once he set his mind to it he became beyond knowledgeable. He loved typefaces, especially those that had been around a few hundred years and he honoured them with beautiful layouts.
Whether it was type, shire horses, aboriginal art or simply fishing, few could match his knowledge or passion. I hope you find peace Mike.

Steve Dodds said:

I worked with Mike after the ‘halcyon’ days (for us both probably). But he was as passionate and pushy and proud as he had ever been.

And just a great bloke to boot.

A figurative and literal giant.

Warwick Majcher said:

So much talent. So much love for life. Such a good friend. Sadly missed.
Don't make them like Mike anymore!

Mike was single handily responsible for introducing the craft of typography to the Austrailan advertising industry.
He was also responsible for giving me my first job in Australia. Working with Rod Cleary and all those wonderful NorthFace people.
For that and for all the rest, I am extremely grateful.

Derek Hansen said:

Art Directors at FMH were very familiar with Mike's standards. Whenever they brought a dodgy looking layout to me all I'd have to say was, "Show that to Mike Chandler. See if he offers you a job."

John Hopkins said:

Mike Chandler was a great typographer who could make copy sing. He loved type. More like Mike Chandler please.

Simon Harsent said:

Absolutely devastating news. I owe a few people a lot in this industry for how they helped me when I was starting out, but none more than Mike. I was a young lad fresh of the boat when I first met him. He took me under his wing an taught me so much, he taught me about craft, he taught me to care even if the job didn't seam worth it, he taught me the art of the long lunch and how to eat incredibly hot chili's. A lot of people have the same story because that's who Mike was he was a generous and giving person who cared about the people around him. I'm so glad to have known him and proud to have called him a friend. Thank you for everything Mike my life would not be the same had I not known you, I'm going to miss you big guy x

Brad Cain said:

Life sucks sometimes. Good men large in your life, and so upheld in respect, gratitude, appreciation, and admiration... aren't expected to leave us.
My introduction to NorthFace and subsequently the home of Face provided me both professionally and personally an incredibly inspiring experience - thanks to the boss.
He took great pleasure in sharing his generations-old framed pages of Baskerville and other regarded fonts he admired.
I think it's printed, 'fuck it, let's use Bembo'...
I miss him, and am very saddened by his passing.
Let's hope all signs in his future are in Bembo... (and kerned well...)!!

Rafe Greenlaw said:

Great mentor. Great Jazz lover. The Greatest Barbi fan. Great pleasure and laugh to be around. Great loather of Helvetica. To the greatest typographer of Australia and my mate. Mike, you’ll be missed. Thanks for all the wonderful memories. It was a blessing seeing you at the start of the year. Never thought it be our last beer together mate.

Glen said:

It seems like a lifetime ago, I was sitting in the audience at The Caxtons. Green in experience – and from the night before.
Mike was on fire, extolling the virtues of the new-fangled Apple Mac - an astounding typography and design tool. He demonstrated, live on stage, what it could do. I returned to the agency and promptly got myself one.
And the inelegance of what I produced convinced me once again that tools are only as good as the craftsman using them. Mike was that. A true, inspired craftsman. The world has lost a visionary who truly loved his art.
I very rarely see type composed as though it were art any more.
More's the pity. And greater the loss.

John Lam said:

Sad news indeed of the lost of a great advertising icon. I feel blessed to have had a chance to work with him during my years at Lowe Hunt. Rest in peace Mikey.

Mike Chandler never used the words “That’ll do.” That’s why he was a treasure for our industry. That’s why all the love above. Never a misplaced hyphen, a casual bit of kerning, or slap-dash punctuation. A better art director than most art directors. A craftsman, in other words. We need more like him. Desperately.

Steve Callen said:

Mike was a wonderful, caring and passionate man. He’s the guy you need to meet at the beginning of your career so that he instils in you the need for crafting your work and never settling for adequacy. We were lucky enough to have Mike visit our creative department a couple of times to talk about the power of typography, but also to ‘rev up the troops’ and get them fighting for excellence. He leaves us and the industry better for him being here.

Matt Tilbury said:

He introduced ‘proper type’ to Australia.
Thanks Mike.

Arthur Robins said:

So sad, so very sad dear Mike, time for reflection, I was with Mike in London with John O'Dee, at an exhibition of Aboriginal paintings Mike had put on
he gave us a lesson pointing out the various patterns and symbols representing maps of watering holes, after we went walkabout and found many watering holes in Covent Garden.
I will never forget him.
Arthur X

Scott Walker said:


I was lucky enough to have some of the best of the best mentors in the industry show me the ropes as a young wannabe. Mike was not only one of the people who took me under his wing and taught me how good type and art direction could change how a great idea is communicated, and how a bloody good lunch could do the same, but I think all of those ‘best of the best’ mentors I had were mentored or inspired in some way by Mike - and have commented so here. A testament to the indelible mark Mike has left on the industry and all of us. A sad loss.

Kate Whitney said:

Mike was a household name in our household. Mum bought the first set of Berthold typesetting equipment (enormous mustard yellow computers, drives and processing machines) out from Germany with hundreds of fonts on tapes, and Mike helped her set up and grow Graphic Consultants in North Sydney for many years.
They set hundreds of beautiful ads from bromide to press, some of which she still has in frames in her bedroom in Cooma.
To this day, as a Client now, I am still completely obsessed with fonts.
Vale Mike.
(And that’s from Mum too.)

David Ashwell said:

Mike and I went to school together, I'd known him since 1955. In the late 60s I bumped into him in a pub in London. He told me he was working for a haulage company, directing drivers to their destinations, making sure they delivered their payload on time - he said he'd often have to be a little 'persuasive' with the some of the less reliable drivers. I figured that if he could do that to a bunch of truck drivers he would be perfect as a Traffic Manager at PKL where I was head art director. So we hired him. The rest is history.
I love you Mike.
I hope you've joined your beloved Barbi and are resting in peace.

anni haque said:

How lucky was I to have Mike (with Ron Mather ) as co head tutor in the AWARD School Class of '86?! Rarely have I met a human of such passion and commitment to his craft in any industry. Vale Mike Chandler.

Jay Wheeler said:

Mike was a fantastic typographer and I remember so many years of sending off to FACE for roll after roll of bromide text to cut up. Vale great man.

nigel Chandler said:

Hi everybody it is so humbling to read or your comments about our Dad,we learnt a lot about life from him too.
I have the passion for fishing from Dad and we were planning a big hook up in October to lord Howe island.
I was lucky enough to have him visit me in UK recently and we fished on the river Avon
and indulged in some good food,what else would we do and decent beer!
Thank you for showing us the way
Nigel & Tim
Dadx

Mike Neville said:

Even London is at a loss for your talent.

Patsy Peacock said:

As Ted said, there are people who are great at advertising, but very few who have changed advertising. Mike sure changed the face of advertising in Australia, and raised the bar. But more importantly was a beautiful, caring, funny, passionate human being. Farewell ole mate. Condolences to his boys, family, Lionel, Jude and his mates.

Olivia Isherwood said:

I will never forget Mike with his great big horses and the charming gentle way he handled them . Barbi was Mikes sole mate .
He will be sorely missed.

Peter & Molly Campbell said:

Beautifully said Lionel. We are so grateful to have had Mike (and beautiful Barbi) as our friends and neighbours for the past 10 years. Mike (and Lionel) generously helped me design cards and flyers when I started a new business ...I never knew what legends they we're until later! A gentle soul, a loving man and a generous, special friend. Peace Mike...

Gail Shaw said:

Vale Mike. What a truly sad day for all of us who had the pleasure of knowing and working with you. A master crafstman without peer. Sincere condolences to you family and friends.

Derek Hughes said:

Farewell to a supportive, generous , passionate, funny, entertaining, Mate. RIP Mike.


Andrew Nairn said:


You gave so much to the industry.You gave Alan Wooding and myself encouragement to start our agency even providing free board and lodging at Face The Type Workshop
till we won our first piece of business.
RIP Mike.

Warren Brown said:

Sad loss, he was imenese in every way, he was a wonderful gent. It was always a joy to share the work and fun we had. RIP Mike.

Peter Cherry said:

Another great legend gone.

David Bushell said:

I worked with Mike for many years from the early days in Albion Place over the Don Quixote restaurant, to George Street and finally Pyrmont. We worked very hard but had huge amounts of fun never more so than when Mike was leading the charge. A great bloke sadly missed.

Graham Watson said:

Just heard the sad news from my son Jamie. Mike was a big, multi-talented man, and not least with his cooking. I went to dinner to his Annandale place and it was the biggest cooker range I'd ever seen. Great food.
One of his finest designs, which showed his impish sense of humour, was when he moved house to Pearl Beach and the moving card in immaculately set type said:
'Diamond Road, off Emerald Avenue, Pearl Beach. Barbi loves it!'
The love of his life.

Chrissy Blackburn said:

Mike made my now 30 year old son a t-shirt when he was born that read ‘Hi my name is Jake and I always get my type set at Face the Type Workshop'. Such wonderful memories of time at Mike and Barbi’s farm. One of the kindest and gentlest souls. I hope you are now with Barbi Mike. Rest In Peace.

Michele and Neil Shennen said:

Michele and I are still coming to terms with the loss.
I personally will miss our many discussions not just about
type and design but all our shared interests....food,
wine, jazz, fly fishing, boating.He was so knowledgeable
and enthusiastic about everything.
Mike was a dear close mate that will stay in our hearts and minds
forever.
Neil and Michele Shennen

Christopher Sewell said:

Sad news. Mike gave me my first job fresh off the plane when I arrived in Sydney at Face 38 years. A great typographer and a great man with a big heart. Sleep well.
Christopher Sewell

John Wood (Woody) said:

His best will live on!

Adam Addario said:

It was a pleasure working with you, bastardising one character for the headline font. Bye Mike, you will be missed.
Adam Addario

Adrian Pritchard said:

A great man with a big heart and even bigger talent. An entire generation of ad people owe you a huge debt Mike. Thanks for all you taught us and for crafting our work into something special. Rest easy mate.

Mack Brierley said:


I enjoyed every day I worked at Face, Mike a one off for sure

Tony lunn said:

Fair well dear man. Sweet memories remain

Peter Becker said:

So saddened to hear of Mike's passing. A truely inspirational person, whose passion for type, was a reflection of his passion for life. I hadn't seen Mike for years since my days at Clems Melbourne, until last year when we caught up at John Brynford Jones' birthday in Sydney. Glad we had the chance to catch up again, and talk about crafting.

Paul Ibbetson said:

What a very sad loss. A real talented larger than life bloke in every sense. And a good mate. His broken heart will be mended now that he is once again with Barbi

John Greig said:

A great teacher who cared so much about his work. A true craftsman. A generous caring, talented man. Will be sadly missed. RIP Mike.

Bob Isherwood said:

Big man that he was, Mike filled an entire chapter of my life. He was one of my closest friends and then I moved overseas and we lost touch and now I can't fix that.
Double sad.

Tom Moult said:

A big loss indeed. I'd known Mike for a long time. I met him when the was with Ronchetti and Day in London in 1976. He was famous for his fat fingers: he had a drawing of them on his business card. I last communicated with him a few months ago when I sent him a photo of the statue erected in his honour outside Modena opera house. RIP Mike, the Pavarotti of type.

Rodd Martin said:

I don’t venture ‘round this way too often these days but when I heard the news, I wanted to add to the tributes.
I had a dream start in the industry getting my first AD job with Phil Atkinson and then Ronnie Mather. Through those years Mike was always there, teaching us the craft of type, how to ‘put an ad down’, making our work better. He was incredibly passionate about his craft and put as much effort into a 12 double as he would a campaign of 3 spreads.
Like a wine collector, he’d often produce a special, previously unused font that he’d been saving for a special occasion. He’d lean in and whisper its name to me, looking like he was offering me a prized gift. That’s how I felt. By this time he had me on the drug. I used to go down to his office and plead with him to show me what he had in the back room.
This was a time before computers. Each piece of work was hand crafted down to the finest detail. Kerning involved slicing space between letters with a scalpel. Letter by letter. Writers were asked to rework, add or delete copy to help remove widows (sole words left on a line by themselves at the end of a paragraph). The skill, patience and attention to detail that Mike threw into creating a beautiful, long copy double page spread was no less impressive than the craft of a master cabinet maker, inlaying mother of pearl or gold leaf detail into the Queen’s bedside table.
Through Mike we became obsessed about the craft of type and putting an ad down. On one occasion I was putting a SMH broadsheet full page together for a major snack food company. It was a competition announcement ad listing all the winners. All 1000 of them. We had 5 columns of 200 names and in the middle of the page a handwritten headline – “Life’s pretty straight without a Twisties competition”. I tried multiple times to space the names perfectly around the headline but always had 3-4 names that wouldn’t fit on the page. A quick chat with Mike and the solution was crystal clear. “I reckon those 4 didn’t win”. And so it was – a perfectly crafted ad that listed 996 competition winners. Don’t worry, the 4 people still got their prize, they just didn’t appear in the ad.
Some may be interested to learn Mike was also one of the best typographers in the US. When Scott Whybin and I went to Mojo’s office in San Francisco I had a couple of print pieces put together by Mike back in Sydney. Same at Mojo New York. I’d fax a layout down to Mike and 2 weeks later the mail guy would arrive with a package containing artwork crafted to within an inch of its life. When Mike came to NY he would spend the good part of a day on the Jazz floor at Tower Records. We agreed to meet there to go for beers at the end of one day and I arrived to see Mike causing a bit a scene at the checkout. Only a man of Mike’s size could physically carry that many CDs. He used to love the sign in the bar at The Lone Star Café, “Too Much ‘Aint Enough”.
Years later I’m about a million miles from devoting hours to what some might call a dying art, I run a software company. But thankfully the memories are still here.
God bless you Mike Chandler.

Ian MacTavish said:

As so many passionate creative people have just said he was their landmark in passion, precision and creativity. And mateship. But I reckon there are hundreds of clients who should be bowing as well. He made ads clean, legible and enticing. Read me, they said. A writers words were doubled in value. Those reading understood and acted. He must have made squillions for people who never had the privilege and pleasure of knocking heads with him.

What a man.


Cheers,
MacT

Richard Day said:

Mikes parents lived in my grandparents house In Kingston. So I have known him fir 74 years. We lost touch in the 70’s, I moved to US and Mike moved to Oz
Larger than life character,always up for an adventure,many memories of growing up flooding back.all good,except for the one where he stole my girlfriend!


Peter Cherry said:

Another great legend gone.

Greg Alder said:

Mike was a true renaissance man, passionate about so many things - his beloved Barbi, food, jazz, his horses and his craft.

Watching him work with type always reminded me of those Japanese craftsmen who are national living treasures. He had that innate eye for design, the unwavering patience and perseverance to get it just right - and wouldn't stop until it WAS absolutely perfect.

As a writer, I never minded being asked to write an extra word here or there to fix a widow.

Mike, I'll never forget.

glenn and jo shorrock said:

'HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART'......THANKS MIKE FOR BEING A BEAUTIFUL PART OF SO MANY LIVES AND ALWAYS IN OURS .

MISS YOU JO AND GLENN S

X
'

Frano {Fran Allan} said:

We'll miss you big fella.You helped make the ads you did for us at Mojo really sing.Funny days never forgotten.Thanks Frano

Terry Bunton said:

Sadly Mike, I'd lost contact with you over the last few years.
So I particularly cherish the hour or two we spent together with Griffin last year.
When you so eloquently extolled the virtues of a particular rose. (With a view to flogging me a case or two.)
Thanks Mike for all that infectious enthusiasm, that Pavarotti brio.
You are missed.
X Tel

Jim Robinson said:

Goodbye Mike.
You will remain a giant in so many lives.

Stuart Dammery said:

All those years ago a little budding art director got a job at Face in George Street, doing finished art (poorly) but learnt a lot and certainly grew to be passionate about great typography which I still carry to this day.
When the Mac came around and times were not so great, it was time for me to go, but Mike and Rod cared about me and made sure that I found work, Clemenger no less where I got my first Art Director role. I owe my career to them, but Mike was the standout chap for me, and it was always rewarding sending work back through him and the crew.
Yes he was always great for a chat, and I remember a very lengthy one at the Easter Show many years later when he was there with his horses.
May you rest in peace old friend, and love to your family at this difficult time.
Stu

Mike Satterthwaite said:

I remember Mike as the business man.
Lionel said Mike knew how to charge – so did most agency suppliers back then, and we loved it, as we added our 17.65%.
Mike was fanatical about his Berthold typesetting machine with the glass plates for each typeface. He was adamant that a Macintosh could never deliver the same beauty.
That was Mike, passionate about everything he did.

Pete White said:

What a loss. In the late 80’s when Saatchi’s was at the back of China Town, my boss and mentor, the wonderful typo Tony Sauvage, would have lunch with Mike often. Lets say most days. OK everyday.
On occasion I was sent down to the pub about 4pm to fetch Tony back. Breaking up two mighty Pommy typo’s cuddling a pint was never easy. Good times. I’ll never forget it. No wonder I became a typo.
Hope the big fella is resting easy. Cheers to you Mike. I’ll get these. Pete

John Amphlett said:

Wonderful times working with Mike from early 80's at The Palace and later with Face at Pyrmont, then the move to dreadful dreary Lane Cove after the sellout to Show Ads.
"Polish the diamonds, polish the turds!" would be Mike's cry when layouts arrived from agencies.
Too many drunken lunches and nights to recall...RIP a true legend of the industry.

Peggy Wood said:

I am very sad to hear the news of Mike’s passing. He was a great character. I first met him in 1975 when I was at an agency called Byfield, Whelan, Osborne and Cruttenden.

He was working at Face London and used to come in every late afternoon to get the work needed to be done over night at Face that Steve our studio typographer did not have time to do. Mike was working his magic back then.

He also took the agency copywriter and creative team and included me to lunch at Rules in London. It was my first ever lunch and certainly not my last. It was great fun. I still have some Polaroid’s in a box of that lunch.

I am sure many people have great memories of Mike and everything he did.

Peggy Wood
Cream Directors, London

Jude Hunt said:

Words cannot express my sadness.

Noel Magnus said:

A genuine loss to all of us who care about the work.

Mike, thank you for all the time you spent educating me on the importance and beauty of your craft. Your passion, ability and generosity undeniable.

That you would bother to help train up a bloody suit says it all.

Thank you and may you RIP.

Julian Melhuish said:

Like many Poms he gave me my first job in Australia, and later with Rod gave me the chance to become a typographer. A passionate craftsman, with a huge knowledge of the history of type. I can still hear his booming voice in the hectic George St office exhorting all to "Spin the fucking wheels!"

Many more tributes on Facebook said:

Apart from those above, there has been many more tributes to Mike on Facebook. Here are some of them:

Gordon Trembath: 
Yes, a big, big loss. And I didn’t know about Mike losing Barbie, though I’d heard she was I’ll. Kicking myself for losing touch over the years; my fault though for moving north and leaving good friends behind, thinking they’ll always be friends, just pick where you left off next you see them, right? Give it too many years and sadly doesn’t work like that.

Greg Desmond:
I think anyone working in advertising in the 70s 80s and early 90s would have come in contact with the BIG man. Mike helped change Australian Advertising for the better. Mike & Barbie were good friends and will be sadly missed.

Simon Philip Frost:
Ah that is really sad news Gregg, Mike was a top guy.

Dennis Hearfield:
Ooh no! Blimey! Some very fond memories of his time and influence in the Advertising business. Sad. RIP Mike.

George Saada:
Will be missed by the old club. He was a great talent in more ways than one. RIP Mike.

Roy De Giorgio:
A legend - he'll be missed. RIP Mike.

Peter Sutherland:
Just had a wonderful dinner with him up here at Byron Bay a few months ago...dammit...I wish I'd seen alot more of him...he told a brilliant joke...as only he can tell...loveyaMike.

David Denneen:
And another great talent passes on. Sad. RIP Mike

Craig Cumming:
He was always very kind and helpful to me - he was a powerhouse in our industry. my father had the greatest respect of his talent for type. Hope you and family are well.

David Jerry Lewis:
Vale Mike, far too young!

Paul Murphy:
Great Bloke, i enjoyed every conversation we had, sadly missed.

Glenn Mabbott:
A big part of my career as an art director was spent over the desk looking at galleys with Mike, or over the table at lunch. A big gentle bear of a man.

Mark Young:
Brilliant man. Was always ready to help anyone willing to listen. Pity the art of typography died long before Mike

Donna Frost:
Oh that just sucks. Loved Mike, such a big beautiful man. Apart from my Palace days, I actually worked for him at Northface for a bit (Rachael Dore). He was always so kind to me. Such a talented man. At the advertising art auctions he used to put is personal Bob Mitchels up for auction and buy them back at whatever price it took!

Norm Edwards:
Hail the King! Twenty eight years ago I visited Australia for a 2 week holiday that went on for 7 years. When I first arrived I met a great guy who worked for the AIDS Council of New South Wales and volunteered to design a series of posters for a safe sex campaign that celebrated the diversity of the alphabet community. I approached one of Australia’s top photographers Simon Harsent after seeing his work in the advertising and design magazines and asked him to shoot the photos as a donation. Next I asked Mike Chandler who owned the best graphics & typesetting shop in Australia to help with the artwork and film for the printers who also agreed to run the press for free. The series are now in the permanent collections of two Australian museums. Our friendship lasted a lifetime. R.I.P. King Michael you inspired so many! Sean Izzard thank you for your award winning photography for the Face The Type Workshop promotional book I know we done him proud.

John Garland:
Sad News! A man who was so instrumental in raising the creative bar in Australian advertising and a key force behind the creation of the AWARD shows to recognize that work. RIP Mike.

Monty Ars Noble:
So sorry to hear. Learnt a lot from him. Also tried to hijack a bus with him at an AWARD show. RIP big fella.

Daniela Mills:
That's sad - I typed his name a lot when I was at AWARD

Glen Campbell:
Very sorry to hear. He was instrumental in helping me (at Leo Burnett) win a massive pitch. A true master. Enjoy the next journey Mike.

Lizzie O'hara-boyce:
One of the greats

Paul Bernasconi:
A great guy. A great loss.

Therese Leuver:
So sad. A true legend.

Marita Leuver:
VALE Mike. How he influenced a generation. He was such a great guy! May he enjoy it up there with all the other typography legends!

Reg Moses:
One of the world’s nicest and most talented humans. I’m devastated.

Tony Hale:
Bugger. Quite simply, the best.

John Wilson:
We all know Mike, that your memorial will be incomparably designed.

Andy Iles:
The master.

Scott Walker:
Good bye dear sir. You were a legend who has left an indelible mark on the industry - literally.

Mark de Teliga:
So sad... he was the greatest.

Barrie MacDonald:
Icon is a word best used sparingly but in this case totally appropriate.

Christopher Sewell:
Very sad day.

Paul Torcello:
The death of Craft...even more so now. RIP Mike

Marc Lucas:
Oh that's very sad to hear. Condolences.

Jill Dupleix said:


It's so beautiful to see all this love and respect for Mike, from those who knew him and worked with him (even fishing is work). Terry and I have many great and funny and joyful memories, and huge respect for his skill, craft and art. We were lucky to have him in Australia, where he taught so many that good enough ain't good enough. Glasses Shall Be Raised in honour.

John Marles said:

Like others, I had lost contact with Mike, but since I first met him while at BBDO in London, I never forgot him.
His work, with some of the best writers and art directors in the world at that time, would shine like the star he always was.
He moved to Australia around the time I returned, and in no time at all, was a legend here as he will always be in London.
Sad day indeed for all who had the pleasure of knowing him and working with him

Mike & Barbi's Family said:

On behalf of our mother, Barbi & our father, Mike we thank you all so much for your comments and memories. He was the same at home, larger than life, hilarious, obsessive about teaching us to do anything and everything the perfect, proper and right way and if you really knew Mike, sometimes a bloody nightmare (aren't we all)! He was a purist. Fiercely passionate and passionately fierce. We miss them both so much it hurts but they live on in us and our children for that we are eternally grateful.
Tini, Andrew & Georgie xoxox

Glenn and Jo Shorrock said:

We were lucky to have Mike and Barbie in our lives
“How can you mend a broken heart”
They are together again
Mike will be missed by so many and of course us.
Jo and Glenn Shorrock

Katie Morton said:

I'm lucky enough to have worked with Mike, ordered type from him and watched him craft it. Not many print producers these days are lucky enough to have had such a massive influence on them. Thanks Mike for the Ultra Bolds and Serifs that made such a difference.

Lihling Chong (Dinga) said:

Thank you Mike for giving me my first graphic design job because I fell asleep during your lecture.
You taught me much but I wish I had listened more.
I've missed working with you and sorry we haven't had a beer in a long time.
I'm happy that you and Babs and Dex will be reunited.
Cheers

Bob and Inger Marchant said:

Mike and i have been best mates for over 50 years. I first met him in London in 1963 when we both worked at PKL. I have nothing but good memories of him and his family.
Mike and Barbie we send our love. Bob and Inger.

Billy Wrencher said:

Mike "The Maestro". Always good to work with turned copy and photographs into great ads. RIP Mike. Billy

More tributes on Facebook said:

John Hopkins:
Wonderful man. Brilliant at his work. Shame few today have any notion of kerning, leading, aperture etc. He loved type.

Greg Alder:
So many wonderful memories. Lunches at the Malaya, the farm with Barbie, lunches at the Malaya, the Pavarotti impersonation, Mike and the horses at the Easter Show, lessons in the beauty of type. Did I mention lunches at the Malaya?

Matt Smith:
Legend. RIP. (Typing this in Helvetica doesn't seem appropriate.)

Lucia Elliott:
Even as a suit, rather than creative, I was in awe. He was also the catalyst for my lifelong love of typography. Thank you and goodnight Mr Chandler.

Richard Henderson:
Wow, what a specialist perfectionist. RIP

Rob Mitchell:
Sad. Made type work.

Angus Grant:
Very sorry to hear this, Lucia. He was good to work for in the brief time I did (early 1984), and, although I knew nothing of the industry, it was obvious that he really knew his stuff. The CB tributes show how true that was.

Derek Craig:
Sorry to hear so long Mike

Steve Dodds:
A great man and greater guy

Simon Philip Frost:
Mike was a top bloke.

Mary Finkelsen:
Very sad.

Rochelle Burbury:
That’s very sad news. I interviewed Mike a few times in my journo days and he always gave me a great laugh. Vale.

Katy Young said:

The father of type was how I learned about Mike Chandler back in the 90's. More recently a fellow Palm Beach local with a broken heart after losing his soul mate Barbi. These tributes say so much about him and explain why he was known as the "father of type" . Resting peacefully now with his Barbi I'm sure.

Deano said:

Once Mike asked me if I would do an ad for Face. The Type Workshop. It was such an honour to be asked, considering all the great work he had produced for Face over the years, I was determined to do something good. I wrote an ad that had sort of quirky observations about interesting letters of the alphabet all on one page. And the strapline was: We know a lot about type.

Mike liked the idea so much he said, “Why not do them as separate ads?” Which of course made it great. We did that and then he wanted an ad for every letter. It took me about a year to research and write but it worked.

A few years later, Stan May called me and asked if I would go to the Adelaide office of Leo Burnett and help sort out some problems they were having there with a campaign.

I said, “Sure.”

Then he asked me, “Who do want to take as your Art Director?”

I said, “Mike Chandler.”

Stan thought that was a good idea and Mike was free to go and consequently I got to spend time over a couple of months living and working closely with him. After a couple of weeks in a hotel, they put us up in a beautiful little house near South Terrace. I can’t say it was all smooth sailing and he is not a good man to share a bathroom with but this is where I got to know him best. Working until late at night, going out for dinner somewhere and then farting all the way home.

We would talk about what a great place Adelaide was and speculated idly about taking advantage of the cheap real estate, buying a building there and starting a company. And we shared life stories, as you do. We also travelled all around Adelaide and the Barossa producing the campaign and along the way we met some terrific people and enjoyed some great food and wine.

I wish we could do it all again.

Gia Carides said:

I remember Mike as a classy,quietly spoken incredibly intelligent man,he loved Barbi, the beautiful and incredibly smart woman, who was the mother of my brilliant and beautiful friend Tini.... Mike and I had brief moments spent in each others company but I felt his love for his family. He worked hard and loved hugely,I know that for sure.He was a gorgeous man and he and Barbi were a seriously chic couple.They lived their lives in love and with great humor. He shared these traits of humor and intelligence with his family and friends and was loved by all who were lucky enough to come to know him.

Zed Elliott said:

Mike was a fantastic mentor and teacher. His passionate talks in the craft of typography and its ability to be more than mere words on a page was a highlight of Award school in the 80s. Lessons and passion I’ve never forgotten... and have since preached to others.

74 is too young, but at least it works nicely typographically.
Salute.

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