47 whatever. As a result, they fail to gain acceptance. They are foreign to our habitual taste and the value of their novelty is more than offset by the hostile feeling their strangeness arouses. This obstacle the Kay group have been able to overcome by keeping their designs within the limits of American acceptance. The displays are hand-made and constructed of solid wood. Without transatlantic production facilities it is doubtful if Kay of Austria would have been able to gain a foothold here in competition with our mass pro duction prices. But the essential thinking behind these creations is singularly adaptable to our display indus try. In the first place that they are three dimensional. By this factor they immediately get away from the limitations of the page and the fiat show card. At the same time they do not require great depth. Perspective exists to give us the illusion of space and an inch is as good as a mile uhen it is intelligently used. The admir able displays for Hoffman Beverages which are familiar to the New York market employ a similar set-back technique, but on the other hand most American dis plays in three dimensions take up needless room. By adopting this modified technique they can save space in the window or on the counter and still achieve the effect of depth. They are simple in conception and each is directed toward a definite end. They give much of the effect of being half round when in fact they are but four to six inches deep. They are animated but never senselessly so, and the motion is always hooked up with some human action. Above all, they represent a successful solution of a problem which with the best of intentions is usually muffed -that of adapting the virtues of European mod ern art to the needs of American salesmanship. Usually the attempt ends disastrously and the reason is not far to seek. Instead of translating European advertising techniques into terms acceptable to the American market they are imported piecemeal, with the result that they strike the average consumer and his wife as strange, con fused, foreign, cuckoo, outlandish, inexplicable, addled, or more smartalecky than smart. Perhaps, if we will take a tip from the packaging and display fields and profit by the suggestions that Euro pean modern art is always casting up on our shores, we w ill be able to catch the public eye without knocking it out in the process. That apparently means an open mind and a constant ability to adapt, transform and translate ideas into terms of the domestic homegrown American buying public.

Advertising Arts en | 1932 | | page 63