Bawden is famous for his large-scale linocuts, which are masterpieces of design: bold inventive images, focussing on the basic characteristics of a subject, as seen in 'Brighton Pier' (1958), 'The Pagoda, Kew Gardens' (1963) and 'Nine London Monuments' (1966), which nevertheless are incredibly complex in their execution. He was experimental within a traditional medium and could create texture through a mixture of paint-stripper and use of wire brush, supplemented with an almost painterly application of ink on a roller. He might also cut small blocks to generate localised areas of colour within a print.
Bawdens commercial design work spanned over 60 years. Commissions included book illustrations, advertisements, posters, wallpapers, ceramics, textiles, furniture and murals. Bawdens enterprises included wallpaper designs, laboriously hand-printed, using lino rather than woodblocks, and influenced by his hero, William Morris.