The Rural Electric Administration was a department of the United States federal government created in 1935 through efforts of the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The REA&apos;s task was to promote electrification in rural areas, which in the 1930s rarely were provided with electricity due to the cost of stringing electric lines to farmsteads. Many were critical of the decision, in particular private electricity utilities, who argued that the government had no right to compete with private enterprise. By 1939 the REA served 288,000 households with electricity, prompting private business to extend their services into the countryside as well. By the end of the decade, a quarter of rural homes had power, up from around 10% in 1930.
SPANISH LOYALIST AT THE INSTANT OF DEATHby Robert Capra, 1936 The Spanish Civil War was a major conflict in Spain that started after an attempted coup d&apos;état committed by parts of the army against the government of the Second Spanish Republic. The Civil War devastated Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939, ending with the victory of the rebels and the founding of a dictatorship led by the Fascist General Francisco Franco and the defeat of the supporters of the Republic. Republicans (republicanos), gained the support of the Soviet Union and Mexico, while the followers of the rebellion, nacionales (Nationalists), received the support of Italy, Germany, as well as neighbouring Portugal.
Guernica Pablo Picasso, 1937 On 7 March Nationalist German Condor Legion equipped with Heinkel He 51 biplanes arrived in Spain; on 26 April the Legion was responsible for the infamous massacre of hundreds, including numerous women and children, at Guernica in the Basque Country; the event was committed to notoriety by Picasso. Two days later, Franco&apos;s army overran the town.
1945 - War in Europe ends with German surrender. Berlin divided into four zones by Allies. Creation of the “Berlin Wall” to divide East and West Berlin.
1945 - Atomic bombs dropped on Japan. Japan surrenders and WWII ends.
Alfred Eisenstadt &quot;VJ Day,&quot; 1945.
1945 - League of Nations holds final meeting, and United Nations begins.
1947 - Jackie Robinson becomes first Black major league baseball player.
1948 - Gandhi assassinated by Hindu extremists. Gandhi was a major political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement. He was the pioneer of Satyagraha—resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, firmly founded upon ahimsa or total non-violence—which led India to independence from England and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. He is commonly known around the world as Mahatma Gandhi
1948 - Israel comes into existence as first Jewish state.
1950 – Korean War The Korean War refers to a period of military conflict between North Korean and South Korean regimes, with major hostilities lasting from June 25, 1950 until the armistice signed on July 27, 1953. Used as a cold war matchup.
Walker Evans, untitled, 1936. Evans’s Atlanta photograph contrasting decaying homes and Depression-era movie posters documents a chasm between reality and graphic fantasy.
Frank Lloyd Wright The Robie house, Chicago 1911. The house is the quintessential example of Prairie Style Architecture of which Wright is largely responsible for developing. Long horizontal lines and geometric ornamentation inspired by the prairie of the mid-west typified the style.
Frank Lloyd Wright Falling Water, Pennsylvania 1935.
William Addison Dwiggins, title pages from The Power of Print and Men, 1936. This title shows Dwiggins’s ornaments, his Metro and Electra typefaces, and his passion for subtle color combinations.
S. A. Jacobs, title page for Christmas Tree, by e.e. cummings, 1928. Typography implies an image, which joins with rules and ornaments to suggest a landscape.
Merle Armitage, title page for Modern Dance, by Merle Armitage, 1935. Sans-serif capitals are letterspaced and separated by hairline rules.
Lester Beall, poster for the Rural Electrification Administration, c. 1937. The benefits of electricity were presented through signs understandable to illiterate and semiliterate audiences.
Radio / Rural Electrification Administration, 1937Lester Beall (American, 1903–1969)Silkscreen; H. 40 in. (101.6 cm), W. 30 in. (76.2 cm) Lester Beall, poster for the Rural Electrification Administration, c. 1937. presented through signs understandable to illiterate and semiliterate audiences.
Erté, Harper’s Bazaar covers, July 1929; July 1934; and January 1935. Erté’s covers projected a sophisticated, continental image on the newsstand.
Martin Munkacsi, editorial photograph from Harper’s Bazaar, 1934. Rejecting the conventions of the studio, Munkacsi allowed outside locations and the natural movements of his models to suggest innovative possibilities.
Alexey Brodovitch (art director) and Man Ray (photographer), pages from Harper’s Bazaar, 1934. The figure’s oblique thrust inspired a dynamic typographic page with several sizes and weights of geometric sans serifs.
Alexey Brodovitch (art director) and Man Ray (photographer), pages from Harper’s Bazaar, 1934. The forms and texture of the experimental photograph are amplified and complemented by the typographic design.
Alexey Brodovitch cover for Harper’s Bazaar.
Joseph Binder, poster for the New York World’s Fair, 1939. America’s embrace of modernism, technology, and global power is signified.
A. M. Cassandre, cover for Harper’s Bazaar, 1939. A perfume-bottle nose, lipstick mouth, and powder-puff cheek achieve simultaneity.
Will Burtin – 1932 Cover. Kristallspiegelglas brochure Before ww2 and his migration to the US
Will Burtin – 1932 Photograph. Exhibit detail of Plastics in America, 1956. Designed by Burtin for United States Information Agency.
Will Burtin – 1944 “Nose attack” spread, pp. S28-S29. WWII Gunnery manual: Position Firing. May, 1944. Designed for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services.
Will Burtin – 1948
Cover. From Superstition to Science booklet, 1960. Designed by Burtin.
Walter Paepcke (1896–1960) was a U.S. industrialist and philanthropist prominent in the middle-20th century. A longtime executive of the Chicago-based Container Corporation of America. In the 1930s Walter Paepcke was a leader in design. He believed that design had a practical value, and that anything from adverts, packaging, and trucks, to the company&apos;s factories could promote a business if a trademark was used. As with World War I, graphic design was used for propaganda during World War II; mainly with posters. Egbert Jacobson was selected as the design director for the corporation
Jean Carlu, poster for the Office of Emergency Management, 1941. Visual and verbal elements are inseparably interlocked into an intense symbol of productivity and labor.
J. Howard Miller US War Production Committee Poster – 1942 Note the exaggerated dramatic pose reminiscent of heroic realism in Russia.
John Atherton poster for the U.S. Office of War Information, 1943. The placement of the two-part headline implies a rectangle; this symmetry is animated by the off-center placement of the white cross.
E. McKnight Kauffer, poster promoting Allied unity, c. 1940. The Portuguese headline translates, “We Fight for the Liberty of All.”
Ben Shahn, poster for the U.S. Office of War Information, 1943. A dire crisis is conveyed using the most direct words and imagery possible.
Herbert Bayer, poster supporting polio research, 1949. The diagonal shaft of the test tube leads the eye from the red and blue headline to the flowing yellow light that is beginning to dawn, linking the elements in the same manner as the thick black bars of Bayer’s Bauhaus work.
BEN CUNNINGHHAM “Nevada” – 1949 Container Corporation Ad Designers were to interpret their native state. They were given complete artistic freedom.
MCKNIGHT KAUFFER “Great Ideas of Western Man” Container Corporation Ad 1941 “nothing that is wrong in principle can be right in practice”
Herbert Matter, advertisement for CCA, 1943. A unified complex of images suggests global scope, paperboard boxes, and food for troops in harsh environmental conditions.
Alexey Brodovitch, cover for Portfolio, 1951. Screen tints produce the illusion that translucent rectangles of pink and blue-gray have been placed on the stencil logo slashing down the back cover.
Alexey Brodovitch, pages from Portfolio, 1951. A masterful scale shift occurs in the transition from the small, scattered cattle brands around the bull to the large cattle brands of the portfolio’s first page.
Alexey Brodovitch, pages from Portfolio, 1951. Two pages from the Mummer’s Parade fold out to reveal a dynamic cropping and juxtaposition of images.
Joseph Binder, recruiting poster for the U. S. Navy, c. 1954. Echoes of Cassandra’s steamship posters remain, but the strength expressed is more powerful and forbidding.
Herbert Matter Brochure cover introducing a Knoll chair 1956 The wrapping is on a translucent film when turned reveals the chair and girl.
“Kitsch” is a German word meaning “in bad taste”. In the arts, kitsch is usually used to describe art that is pretentious, vulgar and/or overly sentimental. Although “American Kitsch” is the label we will use in this class to indentify this style, this term is not generally used. The most popular label is “50s art”
Influences: 1950 - James Dean represented the first youth movement in history. For the first time, the youth of America sought new ways of dressing independent of adult fashion. Casual was the word of the day, so practical, easy-to-wear work clothes like jeans and t-shirts became the norm. Artists and Bohemians immediately appropriated this look, which became code for “creative radical”. Of course it later became mainstream.
Douglas DC-3Donald Douglas - 1935 The DC-3 was the aerodynamic forerunner of all commercial aircraft today. Designers such as Raymond Lowey (as seen before) started out in the Deco period then hit full strides in their career in the 50s, 60s and 70s
Greyhound Bus Raymond Lowey – 1940 Note the curved shapes on the bus design as well as the casual script fonts.
Eero Saarinen – TWA Terminal Building 1956 The dramatic rooflines made of sculptural organic forms reflected the 50s love for curves.
The same kind of curved appeared in many Las Vegas casino designs. Note the casual script typography in the background.
This is a typical 50s diner style sign with dramatic semi-geometric curved shapes. Note the same style of casual curved type on this diner sign.
Before the interstate highway existed, Route 66 was the only way to get from Chicago to Los Angeles. Note the design of the sign: a simplified shield shape with organic curves.
The Barbie Doll - 1959
Ericofon Hugo Blomberg – 1949 This innovative telephone design incorporates organic curves into the design.
1939 This set of salt and pepper shakers have both pure geometry (Early Modern = in the shakers) and organic shapes (Kitsch) in the tray. This is reminiscent of the Worlds Fair poster from Joseph Binder the previous chapter.
George Nelson (Designed by Irving Harper) Atom Wall Clock 1949 Anything atomic was considered “sexy” in the 50s. Note the playful shapes on the clock’s arms.
Dennis and Robinson – UK Palette Table The “kidney” shape of the artist’s palette makes many appearances during the 50s
Fritz Hansen Ant Chair Arne Jacobsen – Denmark - 1955
Fender Stratocaster Guitar – 1950 The electric guitar did not need to have the same shape as the acoustic guitar, but the designers wanted the same sexy and sensual shapes that were so popular in the 50s.
Wurlitzer Jukebox – 1948 Influenced strongly by the Deco period, this jukebox becomes more like a space saucer with bright lights and chrome.
Kodak Brownie Camera – 1959 Several million of this popular camera was sold. Note the roundness.
Perhaps the best known American Illustrator of the century, Norman Rockwell is renowned for his idealized view of small-town America. He made his reputation painting 322 covers for the Saturday Evening Post between 1916 and 1963. Note the exaggerated facial expressions and dramatic poses.
Popular theater and entertainment posters often contain the same kind of exaggerated facial expressions and dramatic poses.
Fred G. Johnson Sideshow banner – 1930 Sideshow banners by definition walk the fine line between parody and exploitation.
Joe Shuster Superman Comic Book – 1939 Comic books, especially the superhero variety had the same dramatic qualities.
Alberto Varga Esquire “Varga Girl” Calendar – 1943 The postal censor objected to Esquire&apos;s December 1943 calendar page featuring a Varga girl donning a WAAC uniform.
1938 - Popular crime magazine covers of the kitsch era utilized the same exaggerated facial expressions and dramatic poses. Because this style is considered “outsider art” this particular graphic style is not recorded in history books, nor is it taught in design schools.
1939 - “Pulp fiction” paperback book covers of the 40s and 50s utilized the same kind of caricatured artwork.
1950 - Exaggerated overstatement was used in advertising copy as well as art.
1935 - Hollywood movie posters have always emphasized the drama with exaggerated poses. Note the casual and informal hand-drawn type.
1942 - Casual hand-writing inspired typefaces were very popular during this period. Note the careful rendering of Hollywood-style lighting techniques.
1958 - Exaggerated provocative poses rendered realistically is typical of this period.
1949 - Same exaggerated provocative poses rendered realistically.
1940 - Exaggerated provocative pose with casual hand drawn type. This is a vegetable label?!?
Harley Earl Cadillac – 1959 Note the exaggerated tail design of the car as well as the script font used for the logo.
1940 - Caricatured cartoon drawings with casual hand-drawn type.
Donald Deskey Tide “bullseye” packaging – 1946 The basic look of Tide’s package has endured for some 65 years without essentially changing. And for its time, the Tide packaging was very unique, signaling a shift to more ever-more audacious designs that leaped for shoppers attention.
Note the same caricatured cartoon drawing – “floating” head.
A very stylized caricatured cartoon drawing. Note how the type is dancing as well.
Curved organic green shape, and the “floating” caricatured face made out of the “T”
stylized caricatured cartoon drawing with hand-drawn type.
1950 - Typical 50s advertising using comic-book style illustration
Matchbook cover – 1950 Note the organic kidney-like shape and casual script type.
Jello Ad 1952 - stylized caricatured cartoon drawing with hand-drawn type.
1956 - Comic book cartoon character with dancing type
1955 Needle and thread box Romantic notions of the atom bomb was used to sell everything including needles.
Norelco Shaver Point of purchase display - 1955 Note the curves on the shaver itself as well as the cardboard display
1957 Elvis movie poster Dramatic romantic pose with casual hand drawn type.
Valley Farms Ice Cream Container 1955 The use of celebrities to sell products reached its height in the 50s. Note the disembodied head and the casual script style.
Board Game – 1960 Note the signage typography in the illustration – hand drawn.
Bob’s Big Boy mascot 1940 Trademarks of the 50s used the same style of caricatured figures.
Pillsbury Dough Boy - 1965 A cute mascot with a lot of soft curves.
Piggly Wiggly - 1954 A cartoon Trademark in the ‘kitsch’ style
Atomic Insecticides logo – 1945 Atomic romance in a logo
Hallmark logo – 1949 Casual script type in a logo still in use today.
Rayban logo – 1956 Another example of casual script type in a logo
Contemporary example of kitsch
Contemporary example of kitsch
Contemporary example of kitsch
Contemporary example of kitsch
The late modern period was dominated by American innovations. Inspired by European avant-garde early modern approaches, American artists developed a unique personal style and several superstars were born. American late modern artists widely applied the non-decorative approach of the modernists but rejected the dogma. The result was a new simplicity that gained wide popular acceptance.
Christian Dior “A” Frame dress – 1955 In the 40s and 50s, Christian Dior struck a chord in fashion with a new look that combined simplicity with high fashion. Using plastics (polyester) developed during WWII for bombs, uniforms and planes, he experimented with sculpting dresses. His look would later inspire the “rock and roll skirts” worn by teenagers.
1960 – Mini Skirt The mini-skirt represented both the swinging sixties and a new relaxed attitude towards the body. Popularized by Mary Quant’s London boutique “Bazaar”, the new simplicity gained wide acceptance with the youth.
Philo Farnsworth Television – 1927 America’s popular acceptance of television in the 50s was to change advertising and lifestyle in a major way. This TV set, designed for function, is a good example of minimalist simplicity.
John Brown and Co. Queen Mary Ocean Liner – 1934 In its day, the Queen Mary was the largest ocean liner in the world. The design of the ship follows the modernist approach of function before form and simplicity.
Corradino d’Ascanio – 1945 Vespa Scooter After WWII, raw materials such as metal and fuel was in short supply. The Italian Vespa was cheap, reliable, easy to maintain and easy to drive. This combination of function and simmplicity became the new tenet of “good design” in products, design, and advertising during the late modern period.
Ferdinand Porsche Porsche 356 – 1948 Porsche worked for Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagon before founding his own company. All his cars were known for engineering excellence and simple aesthetic elegance.
Russel Wright Steubenville Table Service – 1937 This modern table service set was a huge commercial success, selling over 80 million pieces. A merging of organic shapes and simple geometry.
Luigi Caccia Caccia Cutlery – 1938 Described as “the most beautiful cutlery in existence”, Luigi Caccia’s design evoked a timeless simplicity and elegance.
Eliot Noyes IBM Typewriter – 1963 The IBM selectric typewriter had an interchangable ball which contained all the letters of the alphabet. Lightweight, robust and simple, this typewriter revolutionized the office in the 60s
Olympus Trip 35 Camera – 1968 Lightweight, compact and easy to use, this popular camera wsa designed with simplicity in mind.
Cini Boeri Bobolungo chair – 1969 Comfort and simplicity
Paul Rand New York City became the cultural center of the world in the 1940s. Art, fashion, advertising and graphic design innovations were abundant during this decade. Paul Rand was the first pioneer of the “New York School”. He developed a unique, distinctive graphic language with wit and simplicty. Rand collaborated with Bill Bernbach and was best known for designing the IBM, Westinghouse, UPS and ABC-TV logos.
Paul Rand cover for Direction magazine, 1940. The red dots are symbolically ambiguous, becoming holiday decorations or blood drops.
Paul Rand Directions Magazine Cover – 1942 “To design is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dramatize, to persuade and perhaps even amuse. To design is to transform prose into poetry” – Paul Rand
Rand made use of the whole battery of modernist techniques, particularly collage, photograms, and cut-outs like on this ad.
Paul Rand – 1947 Advancements in photography, typesetting and printing techniques changed the look and the methodology of graphic design. “Art Directors” and designers started cutting up type and images and gluing them down on matte board or “mechanical boards”.
Paul Rand 1948 Rand played a major role in changing the way words and images combined to convey a single idea. He was also a pioneer of the New Advertising where the spectator was active, not passive, where curiosity was aroused and intelligence was needed to complete the sense.
Paul Rand 1949
Paul Rand 1951 Rand influenced generations of designers through his books and his involvements with design education.
Paul Rand Westinghouse Ad - 1961
Alvin Lustig Gallery Invitation - 1949
Alvin Lustig Book cover- 1945
Alvin Lustig Book covers- 1945
Saul Bass Saul Bass is best known for numerous innovative and memorable title sequences for films by Otto Preminger and Alfred Hitchcock. Her was also known for designing major corporate identity for United Airlines, Quaker Oats, AT&T, Warner Communications and many others.
Saul Bass Movie poster – 1955 For the first time in Hollywood history, a unified campaign was created to market a film which included logo, poster, ads and film title sequences.
Saul Bass “Anatomy of a Murder” logo – 1959
Saul Bass “Anatomy of a Murder” music score – 1959
Saul Bass Anatomy of a Murder opening titles – 1955
Saul Bass “Saint Joan” poster– 1957 Bass was known for reducing an array of predictable images to a minimum of graphic elements.
Saul Bass “Such Good Friends” poster– 1971 Bass stripped visual complexity from messages and used simple pictographs that exert great graphic power.
Saul Bass “Bonjour Tristesse” poster– 1958 The wood block print was used for this poster, but the illustration style is distinctly late modern.
Saul Bass “Vertigo” poster– 1958
Saul Bass “Vertigo” opening credits– 1958
Saul Bass - 1963
Saul Bass – 1980 Bass ripped off his own design from the previous slide
Lester Beall Magazine cover – 1941 Symbols and object photography in a layered, collage-like manner.
Bradbury Thompson had an adventurous spirit of experimenation, achieving a mastery of complex organization, form and visual flow.
Bradbury Thompson West Virginia Pulp and Paper – 1945 Pictoral collage and overlapping shapes.
Bradbury Thompson West Virginia Pulp and Paper - 1952
Bradbury Thompson West Virginia Pulp and Paper - 1958 (Westvaco)
Bradbury Thompson West Virginia Pulp and Paper - 1958
Bradbury Thompson West Virginia Pulp and Paper - 1958
Bradbury Thompson Dance 1958 This magazine spread needed to be rotated to be read.
Lester Beall Scope Magazine cover – 1948
Alexey Brodovitch – 1946 Extreme cropping, juxtapositions of images and razor sharp type became his signature.
Mike Salisbury, pages from West, late 1960s. Here the art director became a visual historian, researching and selecting old Levi’s advertisements and products for a pictorial essay.
Ivan Chermayeff, Between the Wars, 1977. The interwar years are represented by Churchill’s hat between two helmets.
Alexander Ross – 1948 Notice the mix of illustration and photography as well as the use of overlapping shapes.
Alexander Ross – 1948
Erik Nitsche - 1947
Joseph Binder - 1948
Joseph Muller-Brockman Hermes Typewriter Ad – 1949 An early example of Muller-Brockman’s work typical of the late modern period. He would later change his style and become a “swiss” era designer
Gene Federico - 1953
Otto Storch - 1959
Herbert Leupin - 1956
Milton Ackoff - 1960
Henry Wolf - 1958
Donald Egensteiner – 1960 New York was the home of Madison Avenue, where the “New Advertising” and the “Big Idea” was born. Creatives worked in teams developing conceptual strategy characterized by understatement, self mockery and irony. Visually the design of the new adv. Was reduced to the basic elements necessary to convey the message. There was a shift from the ‘hard sell” to the ‘smart sell”
Lou Dorfsman – 1970 During Dorfsman reign at CBS, the network became #1
George Lois = 1961
Bill Bernbach - 1970
Bill Bernbach Doyle Dane Bernbach VW ad – 1965 Ad Copy: The Volkswagen missed the boat. The chrome strip on the glove compartment is blemished and must be replaced. Chances are you wouldn&apos;t have noticed it; Inspector Kurt Kroner did. There are 3,389 men of our Wolfsburg factory with only one job; to inspect Volkswagens at each stage of production. (3,00 Volkswagens are produced daily; there are more inspectors than cars.) Every shock absorber is tested (spot checking won&apos;t do), every windshield is scanned. VWs have been rejected for surface scratches barely visible to the eye. Final inspection is really something! VW inspectors run each car off the line onto the Funktionsprüfstand (car test stand), tote up 189 check points, gun ahead to the automatic brake stand and say &quot;no&quot; to one VW out of fifty. This preoccupation with detail means the VW lasts longer and requires less maintenance, by and large, than other cars. (It also means a used VW depreciates less than any other car.) We pluck the lemons; you get the plums.
Bill Bernbach Doyle Dane Bernbach VW ad – 1965
Simple layout and extreme contrast in size. Page is split down the center.
Japanese late modern
Contrast this cleaning product with similar products in the American Kitsch style
Herb Lubalin Herb Lubalin was a major influence on the typographic industry worldwide. Hailed as “the typographic genius of his time” Lubalin pioneered conceptual typography where letters spoke and words emote.
Herb Lubalin, pages from Eros, 1962. Lubalin overlapped and touched letterforms, compressed the space between words, and squeezed words and images into a rectangle.
Herb Lubalin Avant Garde Magazine Masthead – 1967 Lubalin experimented with phototypesetting, promoting the practice of smashing and overlapping letters.
Herb Lubalin Lubalin was one of the founders of ITC (internat’l typeface corp)
Herb Lubalin Lubalin was the founder and publisher of the typogr. Journal U&lc which showcased his experiments with type.
Herb Lubalin, typogram from a Stettler typeface announcement poster, 1965. Marriage, “the most licentious of human institutions,” becomes an illustration through the joined Rs.
Herb Lubalin, proposed New York City logo, 1966. Isometric perspective creates a dynamic tension between two- and three-dimensionality while implying the city’s high-rise architecture.
Herb Lubalin, Ice Capades logo, 1967.
Ralph Eckerstrom Container Corporation of America rebrand 1957 Modern update to the cca logo.
Mr donut 1968
M. Cassandre Yves Saint Laurent logo – 1963 Art deco designer working in the simple late modern style
Chermayeff & Geismar 1976
Saul Bass - 1978
Saul Bass - 1972
Old / new
Prudential logo in the late modern style.
Historyof Graphic Design
Chapter 17 + 19 – Late Modern
The Modern Movement
The New York School