If we ask what Tolmer means by the modern movement, though he does
not define it in so many words, our knowledge of his general attitude
will tell us that he means the employment of every art in the way most
in harmony with social ideals of to-day.
If we turn to Italy and Germany we find still greater stress laid on the
organic connection of publicity with the organisation of the state. In
Ricciardi's definition its mission is to aid ultimately in the prosperity and
security of the nation. In Germany it has the same end, and trickiness
and stunting are deprecated as being unworthy of it. The relation
existing or desirable to-day between state and private enterprise, between
individual problems of selling and civilised standards of living, becomes
clearer and we think will present a more encouraging vista from this
cross-section of what the creators of advertising are doing and thinking.
The sections show how much excellent and vigorous advertising is
being produced in Americathat in France, though Tolmer criticizes
the slowing pace of experiment in advertising design, there is much
work of a high artistic order. Strictly limiting his section in the endeavour
to arrive at principles rather than to give a comprehensive but miscel
laneous selection, Ashley shows the high standard in the combination of
creative ideas and creative technique attained in Great Britain. German
advertising, not so daring as in former years, reaches a level of quiet
competence, whilst Italy, whose advertising, except for travel, is
very self-contained and concentrated on the various aspects of self-
sufficiency, is often extremely interesting in design and conception.
In addition to the national sections, the trend in packaging and adverti
sing photography is marked by a limited illustrated section and notes
on production complete the year's record.
That in previous years we have commented on a dwindling of new
ideas in design has been taken by one or two superficial critics to mean
that we approved of such a tendency. This is not the case. It should
be obvious that publicity constantly needs the refreshing impulse of new
ideas. The amount of stimulating work it is possible to present this year,
in spite of some gaps and some disappointments, shows that the creative
spirit in advertising is still alive. The increasing importance of the part
it has to play in modern life is definitely affirmed.