Swedish Modern in Print

Overlooked in the history of graphic design – and specifically poster history – is the Swedish legacy. This did not go unnoticed by Paul Lipschutz, a collector with over 10,000 items in his collection, who in 1982 mounted “Street Spectacle Sweden,” an exhibit of many rare theater and film posters, in Minneapolis, New York and Philadelphia. Little remains of the show, but I recently found the catalog, sponsored by the Swedish Institute.

Amid the exquisite graphics were a number that exemplify illustrative minimalism. While stylistically consistent with the similar Object Posters and the Plakatstil of the early twentieth century, there are some decidedly original specimens too. Here for your perusal are posters by (from top to bottom)Einar Nerman (1916); Einar Nerman (1917); Anon (1940); R. Engströmer (1916); G. Magnusson (1932).

Barnens Dag

Charles Chaplin Dictatorn


Vasateatern Gosta Ekman

4 thoughts on “Swedish Modern in Print

  1. Nic Human

    Wow these are magnificent in its simplicity!!! Showing a true understanding of design. In my master’s thesis I am currently wrestling the influences of the major theoretical paradigms on graphic design, such as modernism and post-modernism. I find it very difficult to not write too much, as well as not over simplifying the theories. I hope my trip to NYC will shed some light on this.