Norman Granz presents Kid Ory, Programme, 1959. Designed by Hans Michel + Günther Kieser. Art Director Horst Lippmann

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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.
Norman Granz presents Kid Ory, Programme, 1959. Designed by Hans Michel + Günther Kieser. Art Director Horst Lippmann

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Victorian Graphic Design left a mark on both British and American design history. In Britain, the ornate embellishments served as a symbol of prosperity and cultural values. Meanwhile, America embraced the combination of various design elements to navigate the complexities of a rapidly changing society driven by industrialisation and consumerism.

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Collected Japanese ephemera From the late 1920s to the mid-1930s, from Japan's transformative period, with its robust industrial force accompanied by an increase in consumer culture.

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Many influential British designers have made their names in the history books. Abram Games, Alan Fletcher, Tom Eckersley and Derek Birdsall, to name a few. But one designer that has always influenced me, not only as inspiration from their design output, but as an example of the role of a designer and the importance of having strong ethics, is Ken Garland. He is known for his innovative and socially responsible approach to graphic design and his involvement in the design community through his teaching, writing and activism. In the second instalment of this series, I will discuss Ken Garland's magazine work from my collection.

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The advertising has a certain contrast of hand-drawn and mechanical. Produced entirely in black, it reminds us that the absence of colour can be highly effective. Hans Michel and Günther Kieser's illustrations bring a sense of both playfulness and a stylistic approach to a corporate client.

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A fantastic example of Swiss design for brand systems is the brand and advertising by Siegfried Odermatt commissioned by Grammo Studio in Zurich.

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As a chemist, I have an obligation to be curious – I grab a stack of our chemical journals and start with the advertising section. I start it, the walk through the sand. I don’t want to deny some oases. But soon I’m bored and tired.

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Oldřich Hlavsa worked primarily in publication design and typography and played a major part in Czech graphic design history. He designed over 2000 book covers and published a series of his own books related to typography.

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Max Huber worked across advertising, packaging, design and industrial design. He had a distinctive style that skillfully blended bright hues with photomontage.

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Interiors was an American magazine published by Whitney Publications, New York and ran from 1940. Before being relaunched as Interiors, the magazine was originally called The Upholsterer which ran from 1888 until 1940.

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Walter Ballmer was a Swiss graphic designer born in Liestal, Switzerland in 1923. He worked across various design disciplines including advertising design, packaging, typography and exhibition design.

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Publimondial was founded André Roulleaux in 1942 and remained in circulation until 1960. The French journal was published by Art et Publications and was subtitled ‘The Magazine of Graphic Arts and Advertising Technique’.

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Stephan Kantscheff (Stephan Kanschev) was a Bulgarian artist born in Kaefer, Todental. His colourful palette and joyous, folk-esque illustrations won him many commissions and his work was celebrated for both its quality and social significance.

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Karl Oskar Blase was born in 1925 in Cologne, Germany. He was a prolific painter, designer, sculptor and exhibition curator. His work included magazine covers, for publications such as Form and Gebrauchsgraphik, stamp designs for the German Postal Service and film posters for companies such as Atlas Films.

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The Best Swiss Posters Award was an annual competition, judged by a Swiss Jury. They selected a range of posters, showcasing a range of poster styles from completely typographic designs such as the work of Robert Büchler, to the illustrated posters of Donald Brun.

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The identity manual consisted of 130 pages of information and brand usage with Arie J. Geurts heading up the project as design director, (who later headed up his own design studio in Los Angeles). The identity uses minimal colour and focuses on a consistent brand blue in all communications.

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Giovanni began his work with Olivetti in March 1938, and his work was showcased in various exhibitions and had a clear distinctive style that amplified the Olivetti brand image. His design defined the company’s visual image, and the iconic geometric designs are still as powerful and engaging today as they were in the 1950s.

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One of Otl Aicher's lesser-known works was the identity and publicity for the Gastein Valley. Gastein valley was a resort for the elderly, an Austrian Alpine village in the Austrian state of Salzburg

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They were many other designs who played an important role in IBM's graphic identity and implementation. Some of the other designers included Arthur Boden, Clarence Lee, Charles Keddie and Mary Beresford.

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In my previous article about the design work produced for Insituto di Tella, I touched upon the artists Juan Carlos Distéfano, Ruben Fontana and Juan Andralis. After further research, I found a suite of other designs they had produced, including exhibition posters, concert programmes and record sleeves.

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Bäumer gave the company a unique brand image amplifying its graphical image after a time of post-war economic recovery. This style of advertising composition can be seen across many 1960s campaigns, especially from other German designers such as Anton Stankowski.

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Jean Carlos Distefano is an Argentinian artist, designer and teacher. He designed a range of posters, programmes brochures and book covers alongside Juan Andralis, Humberto Rivas and Roberto Alvarado for the Instituto di Tella, Buenos Aires.

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Ian McLaren and Ken Briggs produced exceptional work for a range of clients in the arts and culture sector. Their client included CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament), The National Theatre and the Arts Council.

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A total of 24 posters were created for the campaign during 1964, using the arrow symbol as a key features, representing power, motion and speed. The handmade lithographs use up to 19 colours, which were individually printed at large scale. The posters also utilise the brand colours red and yellow from Shells corporate identity.

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Olle Eksell is well known for his advertising illustration, book jackets and playful packaging design. He first studied engineering and later decided to become a graphic artist. He began his career as a window decorator in 1935, and studied under Hugo Steiner between 1939 and 1941.

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Omnibus was Published by the journalism working group of the Technical University of Braunschweig. A square publication measuring 290mm. The publication included features on politics, arts and culture. With advertisements carefully selected to be in keeping with the visual aesthetic. Content also included exhibition information and a fine example of concrete poetry, among artists such as Schröder-Sonnenstern and Sine Hansen.

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Paul Rand, one of the most acclaimed American designers is known for his iconic corporate identities, playful illustration and commercial art. Paul wrote the preface for Yusaku Kamakura's book, Trademarks of the World, 1958. He states his influence of Japanese art and design, trademarks as a universal language and his struggles with English grammar.

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Kinetic art refers to art the depends on movement for its desired effect and is closely related to op art. Upon scanning a few of the inner inserts from the Kinetics exhibition catalogue from the Hayward Gallery, London, 1970, I came across these five small manifestos on kinetic art.

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Graphis is one of the industries most long-standing magazines. It was first published in 1944 and founded by Walter Herdeg and Walter Amstutz in Zurich, Switzerland. It was released bimonthly and was trilingual, with articles in English, French and German.

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Theo Crosby was born in South Africa in 1925 and moved to Britain in the late 1940s. He was a highly skilled designer, architect and sculptor. He became the technical editor of Architectural Design magazine in 1953 and remained in the post for almost a decade. The large format magazines feature an array of content including information on buildings, materials and architectural plans.

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Both the And So To Embroider & And So to Sew bulletins were published by the Needlework Development Scheme. Established in 1934 and operating until 1961, the scheme was a partnership between educational establishments (Scottish art schools, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow) and industry.

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Industrial design was an American design magazine featuring furniture, ceramics, housewares, appliances, automobiles, buildings, radios, projectors, televisions, and many other objects designed for the postwar middle class. First published in the 1950s by Charles Whitney with Alvin Lustig as art director.

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Jazz Journal was first published in 1946 by Sinclair Traill, who also had some of his photographs used on the covers. The magazine is now online but remained in print for several decades, as Britain's longest enduring jazz magazine.

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I first came across Kens work in the Unit Edition’s superb monograph, Structure and Substance, published in 2012. Although I had owned a few of the British industrial design magazines, Design, for a few years before, in which Ken had designed numerous covers for.

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The typographic designs produced for the National Theatre by Ken Briggs are not only iconic and depict the Swiss typographic style of the time, but remain a key example of the creation of a cohesive brand style.

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Rudolph de Harak designed over 50 record covers for Westminster Records as well as designing covers for Columbia, Oxford and Circle record labels. His bright, geometric graphics can easily be distinguished and recognised.