In 1952 Robert Kretschmer, former Display Manager of the Wilber Rogers and Ann Lewis Department Stores, wrote a book on “Window and Interior Display: The Principles of Visual Merchandizing.” Funnily, little has changed since then, even in this digital age. Window display design (and window dressers), or as he called them “the displayman,” is still highly valued in the marketing arena.
Or would they? In the 1930s, graphic or industrial designers wouldn’t think twice about designing cigarette packages. Now, it is the number one no-no. Anyone with a social conscience would cut off their right (or left depending on their orientation) hand before contributing to the danger of others. But back then, before health facts and warnings, cigarette packs were well-designed by some masters, like Raymond Loewy’s iconic Lucky Strike bullseye.
Stephen Savage, author of “Where’s Walrus, Polar Bear Night, Making Tracks and more,” pays homage to pumpkins in his latest children’s book “Ten Orange Pumpkins.” Its a mystery of sorts. Who decimated (as in killing off of ten) the crop? You’ll have to read it (to your child) to find out. Nonetheless, I asked Stephen to answer some probing queries.
Seymour Chwast’s perpetually fertile imagination is still going full bore with his series “The Artists: Postcard Portraits of Nineteenth & Twentieth Century Masters.” His “imaginings” of what the maestros look like wrapped in their own art brands are not simply charmingly witty, they represent Chwast’s fluid mastery of style, form and content. This suite is truly sweet (in the vernacular of youth). (They can be purchased or downloaded here.) I also asked Chwast a few questions about this new opus.
I was reading these vintage comic books the other day and realized this cognitive dissonance. The comics, which may be more adult than their targeted market of kids, each have advertisements that don’t seem to conform to the demographic.
Hey, comics lovers out there in Imprint-land, which reader of Fritzy Ritz or Fight comics do you think would order a girdle, test out kitchen knives or sample a anti-bacterial hair-preserver?
This week designers have a special treat, if they’re in New York, and have the urge to see movies about design and designers. The 2013 Architecture & Design Film Festival (the fifth) is set to open tonight (go here) at the Tribeca Cinemas until October 20. So, I’ve taken time out of festival founder and director Kyle Bergman’s busy schedule to ask him about his hopes for the festival and its films.
“Visualizing Disease,” an exhibition of pathological and medical illustrations from the 16th century to the mid-19th century, is on display now at the Lilly Library on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus. It features Illustrations of ailments and lesions published in books as far back as the 1500s that served as teaching tools for doctors and surgeons. They are not pretty pictures, in fact some may be hard to stomach, including a diseased stomach.