If there is a Platonic ideal of beauty, must all people adhere to it, or only those holding that view? Beauty in art is in the eye and hand of the one beholding the pen or brush. In the late 1940s, when this booklet The Use of Heads in Commercial Art was produced, stereotypes of the Platonic ideal and accepted fashions were sophomoric.
American beauty was fairly classical and clean, without room for too many blemishes. Handsome men were tough-jawed with chiseled features, while pretty women were radiant with full lips and a rather long head with well-rounded contours and a slender neck.
Illustration is no longer exacting when it comes to beauty or perfection, but there was a time when perfection followed rules, and rules were not meant to be broken by mere commercial artists.
The experts who write for PRINT magazine cover the why of design—why the world of design looks the way it does, how it has evolved, and why the way it looks matters. Subscribe to PRINT today, and get in on the conversation of what the brightest minds in the field are talking about right now—essential insight that every designer should know to get ahead.
Treat yourself and your team to a year of PRINT for $40—which includes the massive Regional Design Annual ($29.99 on newsstands).