Humphrey Spender was born in London, brother of the poet Stephen Spender. He spent a year at Freiburg University before enrolling at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. He is known as a painter, architect, designer and mural painter. For a time he worked as a photographer for Picture Post and the Daily Mirror under the nom de plume Lensman. He was an official photographer for the Mass Observation scheme and for the War Office. In 1945 he won a competition for textiles designs where Henry Moore was one of the judges. After the war he worked as a freelance in various disciplines and was a winner four times of the Design Council’s Design Awards.