Two years later, in early 1903, Max moved to London to work as assistant to Sir Charles Nicholson and Hubert C. Corlette, ecclesiastical architects. The calligrapher Edward Johnston, who taught lettering at the Central School, became a close friend of both Max and his brother Eric. After Johnston’s marriage, the brothers shared his old chambers at Lincoln’s Inn. The focus of Max’s social life was the Art Workers’ Guild, where he rubbed shoulders with the eminent architects and craftsmen of the day.
Keen to improve his skills, Max enrolled in calligraphy and architecture classes at the Central School of Arts & Crafts, and regularly entered design competitions – he won a number of scholarships and prizes.