Faber and Faber – its History and Designs

Toby Faber

17th November 2021

Nov '21 - Faber and Faber Barnett Freedman


Since its foundation in 1925, Faber and Faber has built a reputation as one of London’s most important literary publishing houses; it is now the last of the great publishers to remain independent. This lecture traces the history of the firm through its illustrations, designs and covers, the last created by some of our most celebrated artists, from Rex Whistler and Barnett Freedman to Peter Blake and Damien Hirst. Enriched by personal insight, Toby’s talk will feature book covers, advertisements and photos of key individuals, as well as images of the concepts behind the designs.


Toby was a banker and management consultant before spending four years as managing director of Faber and Faber, which was founded by his grandfather. He remains on its Board and is Chairman of its sister company, Faber Music. He is also a director of Liverpool University Press, and a popular Arts Society lecturer. Toby has written three works of narrative non-fiction – Stradivarius (2004), Faberge’s Eggs (2008) and Faber & Faber: The Untold Story (2019) – and one novel, Close to the Edge (2019). Only one of those books (the obvious one) was published by Faber!