Ian Noble Tribute
  • Tony Brook
  • I can’t claim to have known Ian as well as Andrew, Russ, Hamish or Paul or any number of the people listed here that are struggling with the fact that they won’t see that wonderful mischievous, knowing smile again or be challenged by his sharp intellect or inspired by an original and unexpected insight, but I was Ian’s friend and he was mine. We connected. If I saw him in a crowd at an event, I would go and stand with him and we’d chat easily and naturally, as mate’s should, about Jan Van Toorn, Wim Crouwel, 8V0, football. The last time I saw him was at the launch of Russ’s book on Punk, we sat together and enthused. We were very happy.

    Ian cared deeply, he empathised, he cajoled and prompted as all exceptional teachers do, however, for me it was the endless bubbling reservoir of enthusiasm that he had for everyone and everything that goes a long way to explaining why he inspired such affection and devotion. As external examiner on the Graphic, Brand Identity course at the LCC (at Ian’s behest), I often acted as a conduit between the students and the college. It was remarkable to hear first hand how much esteem Ian was held in by his charges. I realise that this sounds faintly ridiculous or gushing but it was something akin to awe, they were keenly aware that Ian was special, that they were lucky to have him, and they were at great pains to let me know how they felt. However much they might, on occasion, have grounds for complaint not one single student I encountered had anything but praise for Ian. I remember after one session with the students I relayed their feelings to him, I think it is fair to say from the prodigious blushing and uncomfortable squirming that he had no idea how they felt and he was in truth far too self effacing to want to know.

    There aren’t many people who genuinely inspire, they are extremely precious commodities. As tragic as his passing certainly is, Ian’s all too short time with us wasn’t wasted, he made a big difference to a lot of people.

    Tony Brook, Spin.