Life as it Once Was

Women of a certain kind were at the heart of Life. Life magazine, that is. The Life magazine that was published for decades prior to Henry Luce’s highly popular photography magazine. Charles Dana Gibson, director of visual propaganda during World War I and creator of the Gibson Girl idyllic woman, was for a while the magazine’s editor. Cole Philips was a masterful illustrator who took that ideal beyond stereotype into paradigm. Here are but a few of thousands of amazingly idealized covers addressing the female form and the beauty exuded through popular art. If you are looking for the quintessential American wish, these covers and interior line drawings speak louder than words. Women of this era did not have it this good.

 

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The 2017 PRINT RDA: Extended Deadline. Enter Now!

Enter the most respected competition in graphic design—now open to both pros and students—for a chance to have your work published, win a pass to HOW Design Live, and more. 2017 Judges: Aaron Draplin / Jessica Hische / Pum Lefebure / Ellen LuptonEddie OparaPaula Scher. Student work judges: PRINT editorial & creative director Debbie Millman and PRINT editor-in-chief Zachary Petit.

Draplin image: Leah Nash. Hische: Helena Price. Lupton: Michelle Qureshi. Scher: Ian Roberts.

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