BOOKS Reviewed by EARNEST ELMO CALKINS SINCLAIR HITCHINGS The new Graplns Annual- 1 953-1954—aims to present a comprehensive survey of advertising art on a world- wide scale and comes close to doing it. Twenty-one countries are represented including Japanbut not Soviet Russia, though Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia are among those present. It was produced in Zürich, Switzerland, by the Graphis Press with which Herdeg is connected, while Rosner is an Englishman. The introduction is in six languages, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese—the latter no doubt a nod to the growing business awareness of our South American neighbors. The indexes are in English, German and French, a good opportunity to learn technical advertising terms in French and German. There are 734 reproduetions, some of them in color, not only of posters, news- paper and magazine advertisements, but cover de- signs, book jackets, calendars, greeting cards and packages. They are all well reproduced, beautifully printed and handsomely bound in a large portfolio- sized volume. Posters lead off and have the largest section, na- turally, for in this aspect of advertising art Europe has long been a leader. On my first Visit to Europe shortly after the turn of the Century, nothing hit me harder than the posters on the boardings, and I came back with a large bündle of them to dangle betöre the eyes of our artists and get some of their vigorous simplicity into our advertising design. Fhey were largely flat color with strong outline and eye- catching composition Hohlwein in Germany, Toulouse-Lautrec in France, Beggarstaft Brothers in England (partnership of James Pride and William Nicholson for commercial art, similar to the Lewitt- Him team whose work was recently exhibited here), great stuff in the more realistic genre, but the current poster as shown in this work leans strongly toward non-objective design handled with great skill and ingenuity. The only American poster is one of Ohrbach's dress Store, which in itself illustrates the ditference between our poster advertising and that abroad and the reason for the excellence of theirs. For here the 24-sheet prevails, a most difficult shape to fill, while in Europe the Standard is the 3-sheet which offers a most satisfactory upright oblong. However, this book by no means includes all the good advertising art in this country, and I have no doubt the same is true abroad. Its material was selected from pieces voluntarily sent in, the same method used by the Art Directors' Club and the American Institute of Graphic Arts for their ex- hibitions. No better way has been devised, so all such collections are confmed to the work of those who have enough pride in their achievements and enough initiative to send them in. But in any case it is an impressive and stimulating lot. The only adverse comment is that not all of the captions are sufficiently informative. Some give name of artist, art director, produet advertised and the firm, advertiser or agency, or both. But they are in the minority, and some identifications are very vague. Also the editors show an occasional lack of familiarity with American ways. One amusing instance is the newspaper ad noted as the work of "Mr. Disney,' which is actually the hat ad of a chain of men's clothing stores in New York. Only twenty-one advertising agencies are listed from this country, and most of them are small ones, though that does not bar the designs of several being very good indeed. But there is no call to go over this magnificent book with a fine-toothed comb. It is the best thing of its kind this reviewer has seen. It should be in the library of every art director in the country, not alone for the ideas it will stimulate, but for the simple pleasure of looking at it. Moreover, it is concrete evidence that the art of advertising, and advertising art, is spreading over the globe. Europe has learned much from us, but she has much to teach us. And look at the number of European artists who are creating some of the best commercial art in this country. GRAPHIS ANNUAL—1953-1954—International Ad vertising Art. Edited by Walter Hardeg and Charles Rosner, New York. Farrar, Strauss Young. $12.50 E.E.C. Not often are we tempted to call a bibliography 'lively' but the Bibliography of Eric Gill by his brother, Evan Gill, is both lively and useful and more besides a careful and extensive compilation handsomely laid out and printed at the Cambridge University Press in Eric Gill's Perpetua roman and Felicity italic types. 4 3

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