Born to a British family in Kenya 1931, Fletcher came to Britain as a five year-old.
Fletcher studied at the Hammersmith School of Art from 1949, and then at the Central School of Art. After a year teaching English in Barcelona, he returned to London to study at the Royal College Of Art from 1953 to 1956. Alan Fletcher is among the most influential figures in British graphic design as a founder of Fletcher/Forbes/Gill in the 1960s.
An early product was their 1963 book Graphic Design: A Visual Comparison.
He created iconic brand identities for clients such as Pirelli and the V&A.
Gill left the partnership in 1965 and was replaced by Theo Crosby, so the firm became Crosby/Fletcher/Forbes. Two new partners joined, and the partnership evolved into Pentagram in 1972.
Alan left Pentagram in 1992.
Fletcher also wrote several books about graphic design and visual thinking, most notably The Art of Looking Sideways (2001), which had taken him 18 years to finish.
Alan Fletcher died of cancer in september 2006.
In his obituary, he was described by The Daily Telegraph as "the most highly regarded graphic designer of his generation, and probably one of the most prolific".
“I find going to bed and pulling my imagination over my head often means waking up with a solution to a design problem. That state of limbo, the time between sleeping and waking, seems to allow ideas to somehow outflank the sentinels of common sense. Thats when they can float to the surface. I find ideas often show up in the shower, or while Im contemplating marmalade on toast for breakfast.”