Advertising is about the art of surprise, leading to persuasion, ending in recognition and loyalty. We may not recall Ruban Bleu Margarine, but in the late ’20s, you can be certain that the French had it on their radar.
Whoever said the twenty-somethings have lost irony was being ironic. Wit and sarcasm are alive and well with Spencer Charles. “I chose to use non-sequiturs because they remind me of bits of overheard conversation,” he told me, “which when stripped of context, are usually pretty funny, or at least entertaining.”
Dr. James Howard Fraser, author, scholar, librarian and champion of avant garde and vernacular art and design, was always researching and writing about arcane yet extraordinary visual phenomena, like Mongolian graphic design from the early to mid-Twentieth Century and Lithuanian posters from the 1980s.
World War II may have been necessary, but like all wars, the horrors outweighed the fruits of victory. The war also produced well-designed insignia, charts and graphs. Considering that military design is to design what military music is to music, the high level of consistency, imagination and taste contributed to well-designed military regalia.
Julius Gipkens (1883-1968) was one of the masters of Plakatstil (Poster Style) in Berlin and an exponent of Lucian Bernhard’s Sachplakat (Object Poster) methodology. A self-taught artist, he founded a graphics agency, which designed for the Sarotti Mohr confection firm, Cardinal Cigarettes and the Leiser shoe company.