The posters shown here all have an original approach to their subject. The Under
ground Christmas poster above is particularly successful in concentrating on the Christmas
theme. The triptych form is admirable. It allows the bracketing of the more complex
word elements with large and simple figuresso that there is no danger of the message
escaping its context. The air-brush treatment of the children evokes a feeling of tender
ness and keeps the figures bold without being clumsy. The Shell and Ballet posters
are unusual because of the way the words of the message form the basis of the design.
A ribbon motif is common to both, yet each has an entirely different optical effect. The
Shell poster uses the ribbon to bind the words to a new container (the object of the message)
and, at the same time, creates in terms of a typographical equivalent, a feeling of fluidity.
The shape, configuration and colour scheme of the ribbon give a feeling of power and
strength The ribbon letters in the Ballet design, on the other hand, have the
effect of delicacy and charm. The curious way in which they float in space is an admirable
typographical equivalent for dancing figures and flowing draperies. The Orient Line
poster is original because of its unusual use of new material. So many cruise posters have
used conventional shipboard scenes, that they have made this approach too hackneyed
to catch the attention. The work of surrealist painters has shown us how surprising the
effect is when elements dissociated in life are related in a single composition. Beck helps
us feel the discovery of a rare shell, by making the hand holding it an optical discovery
itself. This wooden jointed hand is what first attracts our attention. Its association
with the shell, and the colour background which suggests the horizon of a tropical sea
completes the picture of glamorous adventure in contrast to humdrum life.
j&i f t't i leae/y /e///
Poster Designer Eckersley Lombers. Advertiser: London Passenger Transport Board. Printer: Waterlow Sons