Articles

A selection of graphic design articles based on the design artefacts in the archive. Articles discussing aspects of design such as logos, advertisements, posters and book covers. Explore historical context and its impact on the field of graphic design.

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The dedication of Gebruachsgraphiks editors and publishers significantly influenced the spread and impact of graphic design, documenting countless designers who might otherwise have been forgotten over the last century since its first issue hit newsstands. Design magazines play a crucial role in supporting the design profession and remain vital resources for designers and historians alike.

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Erik Nitsche's notable book series, the New Illustrated Library of Science and Invention comprised twelve volumes and they are a fantastic example of how to design a perfect non-fiction book!

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Franco Grignani’s ability to push design boundaries with his clients is a testament to his artistic eye and talent. His work on Bellezza d’Italia remains a fantastic example of how design can elevate and transform pharma goods.

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Franco Grignani (1908-1999) was one of the twentieth century’s most important Italian graphic designers. Scanning the inner pages of Gebrauchsgraphik 04, 1962, I have managed to collate a selection of the advertisements created in the 1950s and early 1960s, showcasing his groundbreaking design work.
As a champion of graphic design history, I was thrilled to find the upcoming book "Penrose 1964-73: The Herbert Spencer Years," a captivating visual anthology dedicated to honouring Spencer's legacy as a trailblazer in modern typography. Spanning 288 pages, this book commemorates Spencer's influential editorship at the Penrose Annual from 1964 to 1973.

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Gebrauchsgraphik 06, 1956 features a selection of the posters entered into the 1956 awards. It is unknown how many entries were submitted to the 1956 awards but a total of 21 posters were awarded.
The book "Modern Man In The Making" (1939), is a fantastic example of Neurath's work. The book uses Isotype's principles with text to illustrate complex societal issues like globalisation and war's impact on economies, prioritising visual recognition through symbols to aid in memorability—a philosophy that remains paramount in design today.

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A collection of letterpresses German brochures from 1959/1960 designed by Hans Geipel for Süddeutsche Rundfunk (SDR), the South German Radio Network based in Stuttgart.

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"Heart: Anatomy, Function, and Diseases" (Dell, 1962), by Rudolf Hoffmann and illustrated by George Giusti, demonstrates how illustrations effectively convey complex and emotional topics whilst providing valuable information.

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Joseph Binder established his studio, Wiener Graphik, in Vienna. One of the first clients was the City of Vienna’s Music and Theater Festival, followed by many other posters and logos for clients in Austria and beyond.

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Ezio Bonini's work for "Società del Linoleum" in Milan, showcasing advertisements designed for various Italian newspapers aimed at expanding the linoleum market

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Wolfgang Bäumer's advertising design for Bayer, Klöckner Works and the Lottery. His adaptable design aesthetic alongside his skills of convening messaging through visuals are fantastic examples of mid-century German graphic design.

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This 1,500 word essay focused on the work of Jan Bons. One of the most prominent figures in Dutch design history. For over three-quarters of a century, he crafted a mass of work with many long-time collaborators.

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The collection of works I've gathered, designed for Olympia-Werke, showcases the height of mid-century German commercial artistry. The work was collated in a branded folder and contained forty brochures, advertisements and manuals.

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Collected examples of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Cycling Safety and Proficiency design output, a landmark initiative aimed at enhancing cycling safety.
Unit Editions launches Fred Troller Design on Volume – the first comprehensive survey of the work of a pioneering designer who brought Swiss modernism to America in the 1960s, via influential projects for clients including IBM, American Airlines and Geigy.

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Katayama worked in several art and design disciplines from graphic design and sculpture to environmental works and sculpture. His design work features rhythms and patterns and has a resemblance to modern jazz and the studies of Josef Albers.

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Rastorfer transformed the advertising of Volkswagen and his work contrasted with that of the previously commissioned designers. It reiterates the importance of finding a designer who can transform your vision and adverting and how the significance of consistent messaging across advertisements, contributes to the creation of a memorable campaign 

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As part of their marketing strategy, Kast + Ehinger, commissioned a selection of German designers to produce advertisements aimed at the design industry. I have scanned in quite a lot of their advertising matter, all of which were back-page advertisements from three German design magazines. Der Druckspiegel, Gebrauchsgraphik and Graphik – Werbung + Formgebung.

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“Der Druckspiegel” typographic supplement May 5, 1967, was focused on a selection of the winning entries from Die besten Plakate des Jahres featuring over fifty winning entries.

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One of my standout collected pieces is Erberto Carboni’s Crociere 1937 “Italia” Brochure, created for the Societa di Navigazione’s 1937 cruise schedule.

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The 1960 awards presented 420 poster entries from Swiss designers. Notable winners included Robert Büchler's typographic poster for the Museum of Applied Arts Basel and J. Müller-Brockmann’s Der Film poster for the Museum of Applied Arts and Gerstner + Kutter's asymmetric typographic poster for National-Zeitung SA Basel.

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As part of an ongoing series showcasing Swiss poster designs from the 1950s and 1960s, this article features 1961 poster entries of Die besten Plakate des Jahres (The Best Posters of the Year) 1961. Originating in 1941, Die besten Plakate des Jahres initially served as a platform for the evaluation and showcase of Swiss posters.

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Forward and a selection of poster designs entered to the Die besten Plakate des Jahres 1963. Featuring the work of Hans Hartmann, Jörg Hamburger, Jost Hochuli, and Armin Hofmann.

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A selection of poster designs from Die besten Plakate des Jahres 1958 with a translated foreword by Maria Netter. Featuring the work of Müller-Brockmann, Celestino Piatti, Donald Brun and Armin Hofmann.

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The best poster designs from Die besten Plakate des Jahres 1957 with a translated foreword by Walter Kern. Featuring the work of J. Müller-Brockmann, Gottlieb Soland, Mary Vieira and Celestino Piatti.

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The best poster designs from Die besten Plakate des Jahres 1956 with a translated foreword by Jakob Rudolf Welti. Featuring the work of Herbert Leupin, Carl B. Graf, Carlo Vivarelli and Emil Ruder.

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A short essay and scanned advertising from Swiss Industrial Graphic Design. A rare book focused on effective industrial promotion authored by Hans Neuburg. The design of the book is credited to Hans Neuburg and Walter Bangerter.

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Perusing an issue of Der Druckspiegel from 1962, I found these fantastic examples of Swiss Design, produced for the University Ball at the University in St. Gallen, Switzerland, in 1961. The advertising matter included posters, newspaper advertisements, cinema slides, invitation cards and a booklet. 

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Gregory Vines' design and process behind the Typographische Monatsblätter 1978 covers. From the initial inspiration drawn from Bellinzona's gate to the process of film montage, resulting in six stunning cover masterpieces.

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Advertisements from post-World War II Britain for British Aluminium Company. Designs by Abram Games, Tom Eckersley, FHK Henrion, Pat Keely, and James Hart, who collectively crafted over 100 four-color and 300 black-and-white advertisements.

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Blase’s long-term clients were Staatstheater Kassel (Kassel State Theater) and Atlas Films. Karl Oskar Blase produced countless posters for these two organisations. It’s not surprising considering Blase designed posters for the Staatstheater for twelve years between 1966 and 1978. 

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Albrecht Ade's students produced some great typographic compositions and print work in his typography class, here's a selection of the work and information about Albrecht Ade.

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The advertising agency played a crucial role in shaping consumer culture by acting as a bridge between businesses and the media and was stated to have started in the mid-19th century.

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His distinctive style echoes the artistic expressions of fellow Italian designers Giovanni Pintori and Erberto Carboni. Tovaglia's mastery in taking concepts and translating them into visually compelling narratives is evident in this selection of advertisements I have scanned from Gebrauchsgraphik, 10, 1955.

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Nikon commissioned Yusaku Kamekura to design numerous posters, packaging designs and advertisements for Nikon. He used abstract forms, an impactful use of colours, along with his skilful reduction of messaging.

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KLM's brand evolution by Henrion Design Associates. Founded in 1919, KLM is the world's oldest operating airline. In 1961, Henrion Design Associates redesigned the iconic brand, overcoming challenges of standardisation and outdated aesthetics.

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Wolfgang Weingart's artistic design delved into the intricacies of Swiss typography, skillfully dissecting its elements while venturing into texture and type experimentation. His layered montages radiated dynamic kinetic energy, standing in stark contrast to the minimalist approach of his instructors, embracing a more maximalist aesthetic.

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Japan's first foreign film venue, Shochikuza Theatre (1923) is an icon of Modernism. Its Art Deco-influenced advertising, showcased in the 1925 Shochikuza News magazine, offers a glimpse into Japans influences from the West.

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After researching further into the work designed by their practice, I found ten programmes designed between 1958 and 1960. These programmes were designed for a variety of live jazz events in Germany and all followed the same format.