The original two-door Mini and its successors from 1959 until 2000 is now considered an icon of the ’60s

The original two-door Mini was a small car produced by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2000. It’s now considered an icon of the ”60s.

The vehicle is in some ways considered the British equivalent to its German contemporary, the Volkswagen Beetle, which enjoyed similar popularity in North America. In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th Century, behind the Ford Model T.

Initially, Minis were marketed under the Austin and Morris names, as the Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor, until Mini became a marque in its own right in 1969. The Mini Cooper and Cooper “S” were sportier versions that were successful as rally cars, winning the Monte Carlo Rally four times from 1964 through to 1967. John Newton Cooper was a co-founder, with his father Charles Cooper, of the Cooper Car Company. Born in Surbiton, Surrey, United Kingdom, he became an auto racing legend with his rear-engined chassis design that would eventually change the face of the sport at its highest levels, from Formula One to the Indianapolis 500.

Inspired by Bea Feitler

Bea Feitler has been described as “the pioneering female art director you’ve never heard of.” Only one exhibition has been staged about her work and one retrospective book published. “O Design de Bea Feitler,” written by her nephew, was published in her native Brazil in 2012. It took me months to track down a copy, but eventually, I found one.

Feitler combined Brodovitch’s mastery of the double-page spread with her choices of bold colors which were inspired by pop artists Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol, as well as street fashion and youth culture. I find her typographic designs especially fascinating, and especially how she often combined typography with deconstructed grids.

Inspiration for my design
Inspiration for my design

About Bea Feitler

Bea Feitler was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1938. After working on album covers, book jackets, magazines, and poster designs, she left Brazil and moved to Manhattan. In 1961—and still only 25 years old—she became an art assistant, then one of the youngest and first female co-art directors at Harper’s Bazaar alongside Ruth Ansel.

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