Mid-Century graphic design is known for many things—its clarity, simplicity, geometry and also a few tropes. These include photography printed in primary colors, collage and montage, and curious juxtaposition of images. This is what I would call Weird Mid-Century Modern. The designer is not known, although he or she was French. The advertisement is for Le Laboratoire de Controle Physiologiue, and it was designed in the 1950s. It follows the tradition of pharma ads of the era, artful yet scientific, a marriage of real and surreal—odd yet grisly. Someone had a strange sense of humor, that’s for certain.
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 Lupton / Eddie Opara / Paula 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.