Travels in time
on your doorstep \jt
These five examples taken from the different fields of the invitation
card, the booklet and the poster all show the marked tendency today
toward the use of a broad rough treatment. This is because the com
mercial statement in these media, to be effective must be a generalisation.
It follows, therefore, that a detailed niggly technique would be out
of place in a form designed to impress the eye quickly. And, as a generali
sation never has the individuality of an exact statement, the humanism
of the artist's hand in executing the design creates this individuality.
The demands of commerce today are not so much for new ideas as for
the old ideas expressed in a new way. The designer is therefore continually
treading over the same piece of ground. There is nothing new in women
wanting smart clothes, in people needing protection from rain, in being
asked to parties or exhibitions or in visiting museums. How these old
ideas can be presented in a fresh way is the designer's chief problem.
See how Topolski not only evokes the sensation of mankind battling with
the elements, but conveys it in a very special and individual manner.
In Fashions Afoot the problem of suggest
ing smart women in general, is admirably
solved in Rix's broad simplified sketch. It is
the dash and grace of the technique, not the
subject matter, that gives this magazine cover
its character. Again, it is the technique used
to convey the simple idea of a glass of wine
associated with draperies, that makes this
invitation to an exhibition of Old Bleach
fabrics new and significant. The ordinari
ness of the wording on the Fortnum and
Mason invitation is made optically fascinating
by the stylised cockerel's head, symbolising
wittily the firm's pride of achievement. The
engaging personality of the invitation card
suggests a similar quality in the show itself.
In the Travels in Time poster, the free
ingenious treatment of form and colour makes
it possible to combine happily in a small space
such vast conceptions as time, space and
history, in a way which would be impossible
with a more detailed technique.
Poster Designer C. R. Ellis. Advertiser London Passenger Transport Board. Printer Curwen Press