Eric Fraser (b.1902; d.1983)

THE-SONG-OF-THIS-WAR-1-C31252Fraser was an English illustrator and designer who trained at Goldsmiths’ College of Art, London from 1919 to 1923. He quickly established himself as a professional illustrator, and his association with Radio Times was particularly renowned, covering the period 1926 through to the early 1970s. Fraser’s artistic work was also featured in magazines such as VogueHarper’s BazaarThe Studio, and The Listener. Fraser’s early work was clearly influenced by cubism and futurism, whilst later work recalled ‘the strength and contrast of fine, early woodcut prints’. Fraser created Mr Therm in 1932, ‘a much-loved carton figure used by the British gas industry’ for over thirty years afterwards. During the 1930s and 40s he worked as a poster designer for LT, Shell, Guinness and the GPO. In the Second World War Fraser was personally commissioned to do work for the MOI by Edwin Embleton. Post-war he became more active as a book illustrator, working for publishers like the Folio Society, the Golden Cockerel Press and the Limited Editions Club. He illustrated Lord of the Rings in 1977. Papers from c.1915 to the 1980s are held at NAL.

Information collated from: Livingston, A., and Livingston, I., The Thames and Hudson Encyclopaedia of Graphic Design and Designers, 1992, p.78; Anonymous, ‘GPO Follows up Appeal to Public’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 121, No. 1,579, August 26 1943, p.264; Newton, E., ‘The Poster in War-Time Britain’, Art and Industry, Vol.35, No.205, July 1943, p.4; Questionnaire submitted by Royall, K. to Embleton, E., Royall, K., ‘Posters of the Second World War: The Fourth Arm of British Defence’, Unpublished M.A., University of Westminster, 1991; National Art Library, ‘AAD Holdings’,, accessed August 28 2003

Featured Image: Chris Beetles Gallery

By Second World War Posters

Mass Communications Academic, @MMUBS. British Home Front Propaganda posters as researched for a PhD completed 2004. In 1997, unwittingly wrote the first history of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, which she now follows with interest.

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