Artist who created iconic pop posters dies aged 97 

Artist Colin Duffield at his home studio in 2003 with the poster he did for Peter Stringfellow for a Beatles concert in 1963
Artist Colin Duffield at his home studio in 2003 with the poster he did for Peter Stringfellow for a Beatles concert in 1963
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An artist whose music posters for clubs such as the Mojo and the Limit are instantly recognisable to a whole generation of Sheffielders has died, aged 97.

Colin Duffield, who was Sheffield born and bred, died last week after he was initially admitted to hospital for chest problems, but suffered a broken hip and other complications, said his son, Jason.

Colin Duffield working on posters for the National Centre for Popular Music in Sheffield

Colin Duffield working on posters for the National Centre for Popular Music in Sheffield

Colin set up as a poster artist following the war when he returned to Sheffield after fighting with the 8th Army in North Africa, Italy and Palestine, said Jason.

He had been to art college for a year and also put his skills to use when he was in the army, decorating bars with murals and creating other artwork.

“He was a bit like a signwriter,” said Jason. “In those days, someone had to do it by hand for you.”

His studio was based in Moorfoot and he later moved to Milton Street,where he was based for 30 years.

Colin Duffield, right, and Neil Anderson with a poster Colin designed in 2011 for a King Mojo reunion

Colin Duffield, right, and Neil Anderson with a poster Colin designed in 2011 for a King Mojo reunion

Jason said his dad became the go-to person for that work in the city, so was a natural choice when a young club entrepreneur called Peter Stringfellow wanted work done for his new club, the King Mojo in Pitsmoor.

Colin designed concert posters advertising new bands such as The Beatles, The Who and the Rolling Stones.

Jason said that his dad met stars such as Jimi Hendrix and a young Stevie Wonder when he was dropping off work to the venues.

He became good friends with Peter Stringfellow and once went as part of a party that included Mick Jagger to the Rickshaw restaurant on Devonshire Green.

Colin Duffield, aged 84, with his portrait of John Lennon

Colin Duffield, aged 84, with his portrait of John Lennon

Jason said his dad consciously developed a psychedelic style for those posters, heavily influenced by his interest in the pop art of the period.

He also designed posters and banners for the Crucible Theatre, many more entertainment venues and for department stores.

He added: “Later on, in the 1970s and 80s, he did work for the Limit Club and places like that. He carried on that tradition until computers took over. Then his way of working was redundant.” 

Colin carried on with his art after he retired and could often be found in his garden shed studio at home in Dore, working away on paintings.

One later project was a huge poster designed for a big Mojo reunion night organised by Sheffield social history writer Neil Anderson and featuring Peter Stringfellow.

Sadly, many of the posters got lost over the years as they were seen as a throwaway item but later on Jason persuaded his dad to have some that had survived made into prints and he sold them to fans of his work.

There is also a display of some of Colin’s work at Weston Park Museum. Jason said: "We've had a lot of response from it.”

Colin Duffield’s funeral will take place at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium on November 7 at 12.30pm.