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Design in Context 1930-1950.

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Presentation on theme: "Design in Context 1930-1950."— Presentation transcript:

1 Design in Context

2 Surrealism Surrealism was a movement in visual art and literature which flourished in Europe between the first and second world wars. Surrealism grew out of Dadaism but advocated a more positive form of expression. Surrealism attempted to express the workings of the subconscious mind through painting and writing. They did this through the use of weird and wonderful imagery which was often juxtaposed in unlikely and strange ways.

3 Salvador Dali The Persistence of Memory Rene Magritte

4 Surrealism and Graphic Design
Surrealism proved to be ideal influence for advertising because of its appeal to the subconscious mind of the consumer. Surrealist artists like Man Ray and Max Ernst did graphic design work. Man Ray produce a series of posters for the London underground and Ernst was involved in advertising in America.

5 Man Ray 1939

6 Examples of contemporary Surrealist influenced advertising.

7 What is this saying ??

8 Lester Beall Leading American graphic designer who was influenced by Cubism and Surrealism. He incorporated abstract and surreal images into a highly unconventional style. This style incorporated flat colour and abstract shapes . He designed a series of posters for the electrification of rural America during the 30s. These posters show his very unique style.

9 Lester Beall

10 Britain, America and Switzerland…
Relatively free from Nazi repression these countries were free to develop new and different approaches to graphic design and advertising. The Bauhaus was closed in 1933 and its teachers like Moholy-Nagy and Bayer emigrated to the states where they spread the gospel of Modernism.

11 Swiss School/International Style
1933 saw Jan Tschichold emigrate to Switzerland to flee Nazi oppression. It was in Switzerland that his new ideas and Bauhaus traditions spread and were developed. This characterized by an even stronger underlying grid structure, which formed the basis for a very functional quality and style. This eventually became known as Swiss School and later the International style.

12 British Design… Stanley Morison was commissioned by the Times newspaper to redesign its typography. Being a traditionalist who rejected Modernism in favour of Classicism it was not surprising when he designed what is still widely used today- Times New Roman. Morison created this in 1939.

13 The effects of the 2nd world war on graphic design were to be seen mainly in the form of propaganda posters and information design. Three British designers of particular importance worked on a variety of Government sponsored commissions. They were Tom Eckersley, Abram Games and FHK Henrion.

14 Tom Eckersley


16 These posters were produced as
Industrial safety propaganda to Support the production drive that Supplied the armed services.

17 FHK Henrion


19 Abram Games Games was appointed official War Office poster artist.
He produced a wide range of posters related to the war effort. His work is modernist,bright and witty. All is posters were produced by hand painting and airbrushing techniques.

20 Abram Games War Time Posters

21 Abram Games poster and information graphics.

22 Jan Tschichold Tschichold arrived in London in 1947 from Switzerland to undertake a reworking of Penguin book design. He was warmly welcomed in Britain due to his change of direction from Modernism to a more traditional style of graphic design.


24 Tschichold designs in London 1947

25 Example of Tschichold work whilst at Penguin books

26 The New York School In America New York became the centre of graphic design and became known as the New York School. Designers such as Lester Beall, Paul Rand and Bradbury Thomson were influential in this movement.

27 Paul Rand Rand was the star of the New York School and eventually became a giant in the world of American graphic design. He explored the formal language of European avant garde movements such as Cubism, Constructivism and de Stijl and developed a distinctly unique American graphic language.

28 Paul Rand His work spanned five decades from art direction at Esquire magazine, advertising, book design and corporate identity work for IBM in 1956. He wrote Thoughts on Design, an influential publication outlining his views and ideas on graphic design.

29 Some examples Of Rand’s work.

30 Britain The war eventually crippled the British economy which resulted in a dramatic downturn in print and advertising. The Government and public services became the largest advertisers. Designers like Games, Eckersley and Henrion were kept busy designing posters for information. Because of the Governments recognition of the importance of design the council of Industrial Design was set up to oversee the communication and promotion of good British design in general.


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