COMMENTARY by Loraine Conran IN FOREIGN PARTS. In a foreign country one is unusually well able to judge advertising dispassionately. The products advertised are unfamiliar, and none of the posters are likely to have been seen before, so that when visiting the Brussels Exhibition I kept my eyes open for anything interesting in the way of advertising. I did not see any of the better-class periodicals, but certainly in the newspapers there was nothing of note layout and typography were crude. The hoardings did not provide a particularly rich field either. Cigarettes were the best advertised product, Indanthren and Belga posters being the most salient. Indanthren used a most virulent green for their background, but this was well related to the colours upon it and the effect was definitely pleasant. Belga were exploiting the eternal feminine in a manner well known over here, a pretty girl was represented in a slightly stylised manner and bright colour. Only one other poster was worth mention Texaco oil. This, though certainly better than most of its competitors, was too broken up in mass to obtain a strong effect. CARRIAGE PANELS. The Southern Railway have sent out a very nicely printed folder giving traffic figures. It is accompanied by another folder designed to encourage the use of carriage panels. Photographs are shown of typical carriage interiors and of crowds streaming out of trains, but they are all dull photographs, dull both in printing and context, and there by the folder is ruined. Newspapers fre quently demonstrate that photographs of crowds can be novel and decorative, depend ing largely on the angle from which they are photographed. Often surprising patterns are revealed when they are taken from above, and it is easy for a good photographer to make attractive shots of a crowd on the move. There is no reason why the Southern Railway should not also have done so. The carriage interiors present a more severe problem. Lighting is probably the most important consideration for an interior shot, but this is of an entirely unimaginative kind in the four photographs shown, and in no way has life or naturalness been imparted. A fault particular to this instance is that the carriage panels in the carriages photo graphed are entirely inconspicuous. This will scarcely tend to encourage their use. Poster in four colours, by H. Bosmans and L. Marfurtof LesCréations Publicitaires, Brussels, for Belga cigarettes. This brand is so well- known in Belgium that the name alone is sufficient for a reminder poster of this sort. 32

Commercial Art / Art and Industry en | 1935 | | page 302