Ken White's Award Winning Designs

Monday, March 19, 2018

Typically when I open up a new box of Ken White material I find a lot of over-stuffed folders and folded up blueprints that I need to sort through page by page, re-foldering and re-labeling so everything is organized and can be found easily by future researchers. 

But earlier this week I encountered a box labeled “KW Award Winning Projects,” and I found something very different when I lifted the lid. 

First I pulled out this box of Oxford File Guides. At first I was pretty confused as to why Ken White was giving this to Hagley, but then I found a page of notes that told me that Ken White designed this packaging for Oxford Filing Supplies, Inc.

A blue box of folders

Looking deeper into the box, I discovered this Autodex Starflite List Finder Model X-800. It’s an igneous device that makes accessing your telephone index quick and easy. Ken White completed the project design and the packaging as part of a “Best in the Office” advertising campaign. 

Autodex box

The autodex featured a moving tab to select a letter from the alphabet.

Both of these were designed in the 1970s, and Hagley is excited to have such pristine examples of functional office design in our collection. 

NHPRC logo

Rebecca Koch is the Processing Archivist for the Ken White and Marshall Johnson NHPRC Project at Hagley Museum and Library.