Litho-Mania: Marketing with Lithography, Circa 1939

My last post concerned the photoengraving industry of the pre-Depression period. This week it’s pre-WWII lithography!

Litho Media: A Demonstration of the Selling Power of Lithography, published in 1939 by Roger Stephens and edited by H. Homer Buckelmueller and Colin Campbell, is a 206-page, 12-by-15-inch slipcased bible produced to help publicize the successful and effective results of using the lithography process for marketing purposes. It doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a “Toot Your Own Horn” compilation of uses (employing tipped-in examples of the produced work discussed), accompanied by testimonial letters from the various people responsible for utilizing the craft for their products. There are no technical descriptions or images that explain the process.

The 12-by-15-inch Litho-Media with its slipcase

The hardcover edition with its dustjacket

The major difference I find between this publication from 1939 and the subject of my prior post (Achievement In Photo-Engraving And Letter-Press Printing, 1927) is the more aggressive approach to presenting the cause for using the technique. The 1927 catalog felt more like a “Gentleman’s Game” of marketing. This newer reference edition uses a more modern/familiar approach to promoting the craft—a bit more brash and direct.

(When it comes to the images, remember to click on the picture to enlarge and click again to go in even further. . .)

Opening acknowledgements

Title page

The president of the Association of National Advertisers, Paul B. West, wrote the "Advertisers Viewpoint" foreword.

Roger Stephens's introduction, with the definition of "Litho Media"

An example of direct mail marketing using the Book of the Month Club's "The Arts," by Hendrik Willem Van Loon and published by Simon & Schuster

The fold-out approach was a reflection of the book's dust jacket, which also opened to show a chronological art-history timeline.

Here's what "The Arts," by Hendrik Willem Van Loon, actually looks like

The book with its dust jacket

The dustjacket in its opened configuration

Back to our feature presentation . . .

The Sarco Company's contribution to the "Letterheads and Letter Forms" chapter

Lithographed postcards from the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition

The Hotel Pennsylvania's map for use by visitors to the 1939 NY World's Fair

The Hotels Statler Company's folder in opened form

A brochure announcing the offerings of the new Alwyn Court apartments at 58th Street and Seventh Avenue

The letter from Tison Page of Tison Page Advertising discusses, among other things, the use of halftone screening to give the impression of three colors using only one.

Illustration by Henry Stahlhut with accompanying letter from fair president Grover Whalen

General Electric Air Conditioning sales presentation example

PanAm brochure illustrated by Kenneth W. Thompson

Foldout with more illustrations by Thompson

Remember blotters?

A Currier & Ives–inspired calendar

Pages from the E.P. Dutton & Co. children's book, "Bumblebuzz"

A dust jacket cover illustrated by Gregor Duncan.

A marvelous illustration by Vernon Grant, creator of the Kellogg's Rice Krispies "Snap, Crackle & Pop"

P.O.P. examples (having nothing to do with breakfast cereal . . .)

A small Sealtest cookbooklet tipped into the page

Actual tipped-in labels lithographed for various products

A label (front and reverse) for canned salad sprouts

Example of a White Owl cigar band and a Robt. Burns holiday cigar-box wrapping

A Boraxo label printed on metal and Griffin Allwite shoe polish packaging

Paas Easter Egg coloring package

A chapter on logos and trademarks

Lithography for use in transparencies and "decalmanias"

A billboard foldout designed by . . .

. . . Dean Cornwall.

A pre-Speedy advertisement for Alka-Seltzer

A reproduction of a Sir Samuel Luke Fildes (1844–1927) painting used by the Lever Brothers Company for in-store promotion

Menu cover produced by Schenley Distillers Corporation

Esso automobile roadmap

Esso map, partially folded out

Sheet music produced by the State of New York to promote safety to children

Package insert for Murine eye drops

Office and factory forms

The "Carnival of Color". . .

. . . illustrated by T.M Cleland . . .

. . . and printed on a Harris Offset Press.

The remaining eight spreads are actual ads at the end of the book.

Three spreads promoting the products of International Printing Ink

Gloss finishes . . .

. . . weatherproofed printing, and photoreproduction.

The gold-and-blue image is an actual printed-on-metal example, tipped into the page.

If you relish a tactile design experience, you might also enjoy the DesignCast “Freaks of Fancy, or Everything You Wanted to Know About Wild, 19th-Century Printing Techniques (But Were Afraid to Ask).”