As I prepare materials for ‘Film History’, it seems a good time to go back to my thesis and access the section of the varying art movements leading to British graphic design styles as the Second World War broke out.

(c) Bex Lewis, 2004

This next section draws on the methodological framework outlined in chapter one to think about aspects of form and style. It sees poster design as an encoding through which ‘truths’ were produced, and form and style as social and political entities through which ‘power’ works. We will analyse the encoding of the visual in terms of the utilitarian, the disruption of traditional ideas, the political, and as a medium for transmitting ideas. Here, we will illustrate ways in which poster design disrupts notions of high art and images produced for the populace. This relates to one ‘contest’ between artists and designers over the power to define the poster and the way it later drew on older traditions of ‘high’ art. Here, we will trace the ‘institutionalisation’ of poster design in terms of groups’ power to produce posters. As the Introduction outlined, there is a wide ranging debate about the purpose of a poster, and indeed what constitutes a poster itself, is. This is partly dependent on the differing views as to what can be considered the predecessors and origins of the poster: ‘[i]n one sense the poster is a modern invention; in another it is as old as history.’ Some have identified forerunners and precedents for the poster. It ‘could be said that any pictorial representation publicly displayed has something of the poster in it, especially if the object is propaganda.’[1] This has led to diverse identifications such as cave paintings,[2] biblical precedents,[3] evidence from the previous ‘industrialised’ nations, [4] shop signs,[5] printed notices,[6] and political cartoons.[7] Most of these, however, were produced singly. It can be argued that the poster only became a truly modern mass medium in the nineteenth century, having developed as societies and technologies evolved.

It could be conceived as dangerous to impose an artificial unity on the many different contradictory movements that influenced poster design, appearing under the umbrella of modernity or modernism. Nevertheless, there are several key trends and ideas. These include the rejection of tradition; and the superiority of new ideas that stress the importance of novelty, change, immediacy, non-permanence, progress, and the importance of the future, often accompanied by secular and utopian beliefs. Democratisation, industrialisation and urbanisation were significant to modern movements, and in many cases scientific rationality, technology and the machine were at the centre. There are key debates as to whether modernist art should be formalist or functionalist, particularly in the English avant-garde movements. Avant-garde movements were seen as the more radical elements of modernity, with a more obvious social purpose. They encouraged evolutionary ideas, and non-conformity, particularly against the stylistic expectations of the public. From 1910 onwards the avant-garde was defined as a rejection of the past and the cult of the new.[8]

The work of political British art movements, such as the Artists International Associated (AIA) and the medieval modernists, are often ignored in favour of more radical Continental movements. This gives the impression that the British absorbed trends from international movements of graphic design without thought for the political movements from which they had arisen. Jobling and Crowley, and Saler make it clear that the continental movements did have a significant impact on British graphic design but the British did have their own way of doing things.[9] Unlike the Continental movements that emphasised radical revolution, the British emphasised slow, evolutionary change, following a long tradition of pragmatism in which modernist thought was allied with non-threatening Protestant values and commercial structures.[10] Modernity created not only new technology, but also a new set of conditions, rising from the French Revolution, which included a recognition that working people needed to be taken into account and catered for.[11] In the UK, industrialisation and urbanisation both created the need, and provided the audience, for methods of mass communication. More consumer goods were produced, which needed to be sold, and advertising developed to target the new condensed urban market.[12] Within a frame of modernity the modern poster is little more than one hundred years old, the product of a mass market for consumer goods and services.[13] As a tool of mass communication, the poster targeted, and still targets, large audiences with common experiences.[14]

Early posters, from the fifteenth century until the 1870s, were largely typographical. Illustrations, if used at all, were largely woodcuts. By 1900 the pictorial poster was well established, heavily influenced by developments in the 1820s when illustrated books were promoted by posters ‘created by artists of recognised talent who brought to [them] at once effectiveness and prestige’.[15] Technological changes, notably the discovery of the lithographic process by Alois Senefelder in the eighteenth century, made illustration simpler. This process became quicker, cheaper and easier, until the cost was reduced to a commercially acceptable level by 1866, when Cherét perfected the process and set up a printing establishment in Paris,[16] an establishment that had a key place ‘reserved’ for the poster design artist.[17] Many regard Cherét as the ‘father of the poster’. The first to design a truly ‘modern’ poster,[18] he was largely responsible for introducing the simplification of elements to draw attention to the message; for giving vitality to the main figures; and for losing distracting backgrounds and thus focusing the eye on the main figures. The lettering was also perceived to be important, with a need to fit in with the overall design, whilst being clear and legible from a distance, as seen in figure 23.[19] Cherét, however, was not the first serious artist to turn his hand to poster design. British artist Frederick Walker designed The Woman in White in 1861,[20] (figure 24), a poster which was shocking to many, as it was the first in which the image took over from the text.[21] It was also the first time that a Royal Academician had designed a piece of artwork specifically for advertising: many did not believe that his talents could be lent to such a low branch of ‘art’. Royal Academy work had apparently been used in posters before, but such works had had a primary purpose as art works; their use as poster art being only secondary.[22]

Metzl blamed the ‘excessive’ concern for propriety in the Victorian age, combined with a feeling that only established authority could dictate taste, for inhibiting the self-expression of artists and stifling development of British poster design until the First World War.[23] In Victorian art and design, ‘decoration was a virtue that symbolised the comfortable Victorian life’.[24] The Arts and Crafts movement, founded in the 1850s, remained largely consistent with the Victorian desire for ornamentation, but in a more simplified form, creating a ‘total work of art’ (see example, figure 25).[25] William Morris and John Ruskin, influential figures in this movement, supported the idea of an ‘English art for England’, and of ‘fitness of purpose’, ideas that were later espoused by many of the Continental avant-garde movements.[26] Morris’s prejudices against industry dominated English design from this point until the turn of the century.[27] Symbolist art became important in the nineteenth century, reintroducing iconography as a pictorial element. Symbols, such as mythological figures from the past, could sum up feelings such as patriotism, which could not be depicted realistically,[28] such as ‘John Bull’ (figure 26), used in the First World War to induce patriotic feelings.

Art Nouveau, which arose in the 1880s, was of global influence. It set aside nineteenth century historicism and contributed to the early concepts of modernism.[29] Perceived as something ‘completely new’, it had borrowed heavily from the oriental arts, as demonstrated by Toulouse-Lautrec (figure 27), an important figure in poster design. He introduced the concept of economy of line and detail in the 1890s. Inspired by Japanese woodcuts, which involved ‘the startling use of perspective in selected areas of the composition, the absence of shadow, [and] the dominant role of bright colours’,[30] after Toulouse-Lautrec the poster was used with increasing frequency and was accepted as a design form worthy of exhibits and critique.[31] The primary purpose of a poster is communication, but it appears that most posters gained critical approval for their aesthetic appeal, rather than any appraisal of their value as publicity. Also inspired by Japanese design, the Beggarstaffs[32] simplified designs to the essential elements, using flat blocks of colour, leaving it to the imagination of the viewer to fill in the details (figure 28).[33] The Beggarstaffs dispensed with the British obsession for placing poster designs within a frame,[34] where a picture was usually used as a poster, with the printers (‘the experts’) adding the lettering later, rather than the text being an integral part of the design.[35] Between 1895 and 1906, ‘the history of poster art changed from an intriguing, exotic, historical and often introspective style, to one that marked the beginnings of the rational, functional, dynamic and eclectic approaches to modern design’.[36] Manufacturers did not appear to care about good design, either wanting ‘recognised art’ to sell their products, or simply concerned with ‘selling their products in the most convenient and often the most garish manner’.[37] The Beggarstaffs were not particularly popular with manufacturers, as they refused to depict the product itself, but they had a significant impact on British poster design in the 1890s.[38]

By 1900 the ‘flower of Art Nouveau began to wither’, and there was a more functional use of design, with Charles Rennie Mackintosh reviving the use of the cube in his posters.[39] There was increasing professionalism in what was now regarded as an industry. The poster had become very popular, there was more standardisation in the format of the poster, and collectors’ magazines such as The Poster were being produced.[40] Manufacturers had begun to appreciate the importance of advertising, although most still believed that the printers could be relied upon to produce clear designs. The title ‘commercial artist’ now existed, although the artists themselves claimed that there was limited room for manoeuvre in poster design as manufacturers continued to insist on a realistic depiction of their product. With the concept of brand packaging still fairly new, companies needed to promote their packaging and, later, the development of brand characters.[41]

Prior to the First World War, John Hassall was influential, bringing the bold colour style of Cherét to the UK. Although many would have considered his artwork inferior, characterised by a ‘lack of sensitivity’, this can be considered a bonus for poster design.[42] Hassall’s essentials for a successful poster were simplicity and bold colours to ‘hit the passer-by right in the eyeball’ in ‘England’s misty climate’, evidence of which can be seen in figure 30.[43] Hassall was likely to have been influenced by the German Plakatstil (poster style), of which Ludwig Hohlwein was a major proponent (see figure 31). The hallmarks of Plakatstil were ‘bold lettering, a simple central image, and distinctive eye-catching colours’ competing for attention amongst other items in the street.[44] By 1914, the poster was accepted as a valid tool for propaganda, being cheap and easy to disseminate, and ‘Europeans’ were used to seeing posters everywhere. The fundamental elements of design – concise text and simple illustration – had been acquired.[45] This may have been true for the majority of posters, but there were still poor examples around. It is likely that the more interesting designs attracted attention and so were remembered and kept, rather than the poorer specimens.

Art and graphic design have influenced each other, although different primary functions are defined for each: art as creation; graphic design as communication.[46] During the inter-war period, several important movements influenced poster design, particularly the typographical elements.[47] Defining the movements clearly is difficult, as they tended to influence each other, and it is rare for ‘pure’ forms to survive. With rapid reaction and change, due to the speed of communication within Europe, many of these movements were short-lived.[48] The abandonment of figurative design in favour of an abstract approach to space and form had a great impact on the course of art and design. Such movements were also influential in demanding an art that could contribute to a better society.[49] In post-revolutionary Russia and post-war Europe, there was a search for a new social order, resulting in idealistic movements in both politics and the arts: the ‘rise of the common man required a universal language of symbols expressive of the newly articulated goals of the utopian society’.[50] Pictorial posters and films were important for disseminating the Communist message across the country, requiring only low levels of literacy, and with little chance of local interference with the central message. Pictures were believed to be the best medium to get the message across, with seventy-five per cent of the society unschooled.[51] The Orthodox Church had recognised this for centuries, successfully putting its message across through the means of religious icons, as seen in figure 32.[52]. Never intended as mere aesthetic objects, these worked within the framework of belief and worship to which they belonged.[53]

Before the imposition of Socialist Realism in the artistic and literary movements in the Soviet Union in 1932, there had been many important revolutionary avant-garde developments, which emphasised the excitement of the new. Suprematism, developed in 1913, (figure 33), was a purely abstract form of art utilising simple geometric shapes in the belief that figurative realism was little more than a copy of existing reality, whilst the painted surface was a living reality itself.[54] Malevich, creator of the movement, is quoted as saying:

[T]he simplest geometric forms – a square, a triangle, a circle, and intersecting lines – composed into dynamic arrangements on the flat surface of the canvas or into spatial constructions… are to express the sensation of speed, flight and rhythm.[55]

Constructivism replaced Suprematisim by 1918, becoming popular in the 1920s. This rejected such purely artistic and spiritual intentions, concerned with applying art for constructive purposes,[56] as the artist was a worker with responsibilities. The Constructivist movement demonstrated that ‘visual elements such as line, colour, shape and texture possess their own expressive qualities’.[57] Although it was banned from the USSR by 1925,[58] the movement had world-wide influence, as international exhibitions were held, publications were produced, and several of its leading theorists, including Laszlo Moholy-Nagy,[59] taught at the Bauhaus (figure 34), in Germany in 1919.

The Bauhaus was set up as a school to teach good design, along the line of William Morris’s Arts and Crafts workshops, although with more emphasis on the machine.[60] The Bauhaus encouraged simplicity in graphic design, utilising blank space whilst pursuing the goal of absolute legibility,[61] and photography and montage largely replacing realistic drawings as illustration.[62] Prior to the Bauhaus gothic typefaces were still widely used in the German speaking world.[63] Under the influence of Moholy-Nagy, a new typeface (‘New Typography’) was designed, consisting of a single alphabet, clear, legible, and lower case, which enabled cheaper printing with only a single set of typesets needed. It was stressed that letters should not be forced into shapes to suit the aesthetics of the poster, but that their functionality was more important. Many Bauhaus theorists were so convinced of the strong visual impact of such typography, that the text was felt to take on the function of the image,[64] especially when combined with the possibilities of setting text at bizarre angles. The dismissal of the upper case has always been considered too radical to be widely applied in the UK,[65] but London Transport was ahead of the Bauhaus, producing the functional Johnston typeface (figure 35) in 1915.[66] Banished from Germany in 1933, along with all other abstract movements, by the Nazis who favoured realist designs, ‘art that could easily be understood and whose depictions of men and women exemplified the Germanic race’,[67] this enabled the movement to have a far-reaching international influence, as the artists enamoured of its ideas spread round the globe. Moholy-Nagy, for example, sought asylum in England in 1935, and spent two years as a successful commercial, graphic and exhibition designer, before moving on to the USA.[68]

The De Stijl movement (also known as neo-plasticism), formed in the Netherlands in 1917 by Theo Van Doesburg,[69] was a major influence on the Bauhaus movement, partly due to the influence of El Lissitsky on Moholgy-Nagy.[70] All representational components were eliminated from paintings, reduced to their elements: straight lines, plane surfaces, rectangles, and the primary colours (red, yellow, and blue) combined with neutrals (black, grey, and white), the work was to be understood entirely on its own terms (figure 36).[71] The Bauhaus and De Stijl movements produced posters largely for their own use, rather than for advertisers, but their influence is still felt in the modern poster. Concentrating on the function of the poster as communication, they abandoned the ornamentation of Art Nouveau.[72] Cubism (1907-1914), illustrated in figure 37, radically altered the treatment and perception of form and space. Although mainly concerned with fine art, most of the members of later avant-garde movements had been influenced by Cubism at some stage.[73] Artists ceased to depend on direct observations from nature,[74] with geometrical compositions taken from natural forms. This expressed the idea of the object rather than its pure physical form, which Ashley Havinden felt was important to poster design, where the designer wished to do more than simply show the subject. Cubism allowed for the object to be reduced to something that could be seen at speed.[75]

Futurism, begun in Italy in 1909, exalted the speed, ‘power, force and motion of machinery’, glorified violence and was opposed to harmonious composition.[76] Italy, as a new country, vigorously protected its past heritage, legitimising itself with the previous heritage of Rome and the Renaissance. This revolutionary movement, which wanted to free itself from the shackles of history, was a shock.[77] The Futurists found posters a suitable medium as, unlike so much ‘traditional’ art shut away in museums, posters were in the public sphere. Futurist typography ‘sought to disrupt traditional notions of harmony, space and composition on the printed page’.[78] Unlike the Bauhaus, which used a single typographical alphabet for clarity, futurists used as many different colours and typefaces as were necessary were used to get emotions across, see figure 38. For example, a bold and ragged typeface would suggest a scream,[79] whilst still maintaining clarity. Often allied with Mussolini’s Fascist movement,[80] the Futurists wished to put the spectator ‘in the centre of the picture’, and get the viewer to engage with the image, in much the same way that a poster designer would wish.[81] The Vorticist movement, an offshoot of Cubism, began in England in 1914. Vorticism was in favour of the energy and mechanisation that the Futurists demonstrated, but criticised them for showing machines as ‘moving blurs’, rather than the cold, angular objects they were.[82] Vorticism was the first organised movement towards abstraction in English art, and subsequently had considerable influence on the development of British modernism.[83] McKnight Kauffer, who created many designs for the London Underground, is often allied with the Vorticist movement, and one of his designs can be seen in figure 39.

Dada arose in Zurich during the First World War, a nihilistic and ‘desperate reaction to the horrors of war’.[84] Dadaists were reacting against ‘norms’, such as the typical layout of the page, and they were intent on disrupting a social order that was capable of ‘wholesale murder’.[85] It reacted with the use of ‘absolute nonsense’, loving the absurd, negating all values regarded as inviolate until that point, including patriotism.[86] As seen in figure 40, in Dada, typographical rules were overturned. Lettering no longer performed simply as text, but made ‘images which formed a sense of their own’.[87] It involved the use of extreme abstraction, and introduced the concept of photomontage.[88] The Russian film director, Eisenstein, claimed that

montage was based on the premise that one image combined with a second produced a conclusion or third image, which bore no relation to either of the first two separately but was the summation of the first two used together.[89]

In figure 42 we see an example of Surrealism, a movement that arose in France in the early 1920s as a new and positive reaction to the negative forces of Dadaism.[90] As with Cubism, it tried to go beyond the surface planes,[91] uniting the ‘conscious and unconscious realms of experience’,[92] embracing ‘the absurd, the accidental and the illogical’.[93] Its influence allowed poster designers to go beyond the physical, realistic depictions of a product, with, for example, manipulations of scale assisting in promoting the message, as seen in figure 43. Symbolism and experimental geometrical shapes, in particular the mechanisation of man, also developed. For example, Cassandre’s ‘Dubo-Dubon-Dubonnet’ (figure 44) can be described as ‘simplified realism’ which remained a popular poster art force until the wartime years.[94] Statistical imagery, derived from the Viennese Isotype system, was introduced into the UK in the 1930s,[95] and photographic technique improved. Such images were acceptable to the avant-garde in a way that figurative painting was not:[96] ‘Photography was the perfect medium for reproducing reality and giving the reader a terse, pointed message’.[97] Towards the end of the 1930s, Darracott claimed that international exhibitions and publications had fostered a European style in poster design.[98]

The Continental movements influenced the British, enabling poster designers, for example, to use strange juxtapositions of design, rather than straightforward representations of products.[99] There is considerable disagreement about the extent to which this occurred. Hillier claims that although many traditional artists, such as Wilkinson, Cooper, and Newbould, were still working in the UK, the French influence of Cassandre was strongly felt.[100] Ades claims that in the UK and the USA there was a general failure to adopt modernist design. Similarly Hollis claims that New Typography was only superficially understood in the UK, and although many posters ‘weakly emulated French Cubism’, tradition remained the most powerful influence.[101] Although it was accepted that the poster was adopting a new and important role, generally posters were still dependent on their commercial function.[102] In contrast Paret argues that the poster had been politicised by the Second World War through its ideological use in the inter-war years by the Soviets and Nazis.[103] LeMahieu claims that

[w]hatever their political affiliations, Left or Right, the avant-garde in England retained the moral distance, social detachment, and aesthetic superiority characteristic of traditional elite culture.[104]

Saler challenges this with the claim that ‘visual modernism in England during the interwar period tended to be interpreted within a utilitarian and moral framework.’[105] The British did produce some adventurous designs, such as Kauffer’s Vorticist designs (figure 39) – but the work tended to remain largely detailed and nationalistic. Rickards, however, lays this fault at the feet of the clients, such as Shell and London Transport, rather than the artists.[106]

Saler argues that the English avant-garde was the most successful in Europe in the interwar period, in terms of breaking down the distinctions between art and life, with the public the most accepting of the idea that non-representational forms conveyed moral messages.[107] The English did link art with politics, with many in the modern movements desiring a better social democratic order, but they tended not to go to the extremes visible on the Continent and so were less threatening. The:

English avant-garde promoted a very “English,” gradualist vision of social change, in which art, allied to commerce, would permeate life, subtly transforming society into an organic and harmonious community.[108]

Careful to emphasise the utilitarian values, and thus economic function, of modern design, important in a country whose dominant values underscored industry and practicality,[109] British art discussions were not politicised in the way that those on the Continent were. Unlike German Dadaism and French surrealism, movements oppositional to the dominant culture, the English intellectuals were as much a part of the Establishment as they were critical of it.[110] Barnicoat claims that the ‘posters produced during the Second World War did not add anything to the achievements already established in the development of poster design generally’.[111] Ades goes further, arguing that the outbreak of war ‘brought to an abrupt end experimental graphic design’ and ‘a conservative realism’, such as that employed by Frank Newbould, once again gained dominance in posters.[112] The influences of the inter-war art movements can be clearly seen in many designs, however, such as those by Abram Games, who utilised modern graphic techniques in his wartime posters.

The poster had come under attack in the early years after the First World War, seen as a part of the system of propaganda believed to have fed atrocity lies to the population, when many believed they had been tricked into signing up.[113] First World War recruitment posters had included much romanticised imagery, which sent many into war unprepared. After the First World War there was a reaction against romanticism in art, and a desire for more realistic modernism.[114] As seen earlier, British design had been deeply committed to Victorian decorativism for almost a century, but in the post-war era there was a reaction against this, and the country embraced a functionalism consistent with the needs of modern industry.[115] Art Deco arose in the UK after the First World War, acceptable to the middle classes, it was an unthreatening alternative to the increasingly abstract styles growing on the Continent (figure 45). It took styles from many of the modern art movements, presenting them in an acceptable form that was particularly suitable for advertising.[116]

[1] Laver, J., ‘Introduction’, in Laver, J. (ed.), Art for All: London Transport Posters 1908-1949, 1949, p.12.

[2] Weill, A., The Poster: A Worldwide Survey and History, 1985, p.9.

[3] Hillier, B., Posters, 1969, p.11, and Metzl, E., The Poster: Its History and Its Art, 1962, p.25, note that these include Belshazzer’s feast where God wrote upon the wall, and the Ten Commandments inscribed on stone.

[4] Metzl, E., op.cit., 1963, p.26, notes that Ancient Greece and Rome had buildings with facades divided into spaces much as a modern billboard would be, decorated with commercial and electioneering advertising, discovered in Pompeii. See also Hillier, B., op.cit., 1969, p.11.

[5] Laver, J. ‘Introduction’, op.cit., 1949, p.12 notes that the shop sign, which used symbolic signage to indicate merchants’ wares to a non-literate population, has been suggested as a more modern antecedent of the poster. Orders were made to paste the signage flat as there was a dangerous accumulation of such signs, thus in many ways these became posters.

[6] Rossi, A., Posters, 1969, p.7.

[7] Crowley, D., ‘The Propaganda Poster’, in Timmers, M. (ed.), The Power of the Poster, 1998, pp.102-3.

[8] Calinescu, M., Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-Garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism, 1987, pp.3-126; Pippin, R.B., Modernism as a Philosophical Problem: On the Dissatisfactions of European High Culture, 1991, pp.4-44, Saler, M.T., The Avant-Garde in Interwar England: Medieval Modernism and the London Underground, 1999, pp.viii-8, and Jobling, P., and Crowley, D., Graphic Design: Reproduction and Representation since 1800, 1996, p.101.

[9] Saler, M.T., op.cit., 1999, and Jobling, P., and Crowley, D., op.cit., 1996.

[10] Saler, M.T., op.cit., 1999, pp.9-12.

[11] Crowley, D., ‘The Propaganda Poster’, in Timmers, M. (ed.), op.cit., 1998, pp.102-3.

[12] Heller, S., and Chwast, S., Graphic Style: From Victorian to Post-Modern, 1988, p.15.

[13] Green, O., Underground Art, 1990, p.6.

[14] Heyman, T., Posters American Style, 1998, p.6.

[15] Weill, A., op.cit., 1985, p.19.

[16] Rickards, M., The Rise and Fall of The Poster, 1971, p.16.

[17] Metzl, E., op.cit., 1963, p.37.

[18] Barnicoat, J., A Concise History of Posters, 1972, p.7. For example, this term is also used by: Bolton, C. K., The Reign of the Poster, Being Comments and Criticisms, 1895, p.2; Rossi, A., op.cit., 1969, p.32; Weill, A., op.cit., 1985, p.22.

[19] Metzl, E., op.cit., 1963, p.37.

[20] Poster historians such as Hillier, B., op.cit., 1969, p.23; Jones, S.R., Posters and their Designers, 1924, p.1; Metzl, E., op.cit., 1963, p.53; Rickards, M., op.cit., 1971, p.15; and Timmers, M., ‘Introduction’, in Timmers, M. (ed.), op.cit., 1998, p.27, have all mentioned this as a significant influence upon the evolution of poster design.

[21] Rickards, M., op.cit., 1971, p.15.

[22] Metzl, E., op.cit., 1963, pp.53-55.

[23] Ibid., 1962, p.51.

[24] Heller, S., and Chwast, S., op.cit., 1988, p.16.

[25] Ibid., p.31.

[26] See Heller, S., and Chwast, S., op.cit., 1988, p.89, for the New Typographers who most vehemently believed in this idea. (See Saler, M.T., op.cit., 1999, p.13.)

[27] Ibid., p.73.

[28] Barnicoat, J., op.cit., 1972, p.48.

[29] Livingston, A., and Livingston, I., Dictionary of Graphic Design and Designer, 1992, p.17.

[30] Novotny, F., Toulouse-Lautrec, 1969, p.26.

[31] Foster, J.K., The Posters of Picasso, 1964, pp.9-11.

[32] Recognised artists James Pryde and William Nicholson labelled their poster art as the ‘Beggarstaffs’, so as not to affect their more ‘serious work’. See Campbell, C., The Beggarstaff Posters: The Work of James Pryde and William Nicholson, 1993

[33] Metzl, E., op.cit., 1963, p.59.

[34] This became the norm by wartime, excepting the odd Shell poster, as seen in figure 29.

[35] Rickards, M., op.cit., 1971, p.18 and Heller, S., and Chwast, S., op.cit., 1988, p.73. See also Morrow, M. (1899) quoted in Hillier, B., op.cit., 1969, p.124.

[36] Ades, D., The Twentieth Century Poster: Design of the Avant-Garde, 1984, p.21.

[37] Heller, S. and Chwast, S., op.cit., 1988, p.73.

[38] Metzl, E., op.cit., 1963, p.59.

[39] Heller, S. and Chwast, S., op.cit., 1988, p.73.

[40] Weill, A., op.cit., 1985, p.55.

[41] See Opie, R., The Art of the Label: Designs of the Times, 1990, for a brief history of brand packaging. Pavitt, J., Brand.New, 2000, accompanied a major V&A exhibition, held in 2000, displaying several popular brands. ‘A hairy naked man in a rubber ring. Interested?’ The Guardian: G2: Branded, A Special Investigation, 9 July 2001, p.2, noted that today we have even moved past advertising to sell a product, instead ‘we make money by selling an emotional attachment to a brand’.

[42] Hillier, B., op.cit., 1969, p.83.

[43] Bigham, J., ‘Commercial Advertising and the Poster from the 1880s to the Present’, in Timmers, M. (ed.), op.cit., 1998, p.181.

[44] Heller, S., and Chwast, S., op.cit., 1988, p.76.

[45] Stanley, P., What Did You do in the War Daddy?, 1983, p.7.

[46] Barnicoat, J., op.cit., 1972, p.7.

[47] Hollis, R., Graphic Design: A Concise History, 1994.

[48] Fry, E., Cubism, 1966, p.10.

[49] Smith, D., ‘Constructivism Page’,, accessed July 5 2001.

[50] Ades, D., op.cit., 1984, p.10.

[51] Ibid., pp.44-5.

[52] Boguslawski, A., ‘Icons, Brief History’, , accessed July 5 2001. For more information see Anonymous, ‘Russian Iconography on the Internet’,, and Anonymous, ‘Outline’,, last updated June 16 2001, accessed July 13 2001.

[53] Christian Sanctuary Gallery, ‘Byzantine Iconography – A Brief Overview’,, accessed July 13 2001.

[54] Fer, B. et. al., Realism, Rationalism, Surrealism: Art Between the Wars, 1993, p.264.

[55] Boguslawski, A. ‘Suprematism’,, accessed July 5 2001.

[56] McQuiston, L., Graphic Agitation, 1993, p.17.

[57] Smith, D., ‘Constructivism Page’, op.cit., 2001.

[58] Hutchinson, H.F., The Poster: An Illustrated History, 1968, p.88. Heller, S., and Chwast, S., op.cit., 1988, p.105, note that the tolerance for avant-garde movements amongst Soviet leaders waned after Lenin’s death in 1924.

[59] Whitford, F., Bauhaus, 1984, p.123. See Chapter 12, ‘Towards a new unity: Moholy-Nagy and Albess’, pp.123-135.

[60] Heller, S., and Chwast, S., op.cit., 1988, p.113.

[61] Ades, D., op.cit., 1984, p.11.

[62] Heller, S., and Chwast, S., op.cit., 1988, p.117.

[63] Rowland, A., Bauhaus Source Book, 1990, p.124.

[64] Ades, D., op.cit., 1984, p.62.

[65] Rowland, A., op.cit., 1990, p.127.

[66] See below, p.73.

[67] Barron, S., Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany, 1991, p.25.

[68] ‘Laslo Moholy-Nagy’, London Transport Museum Database, accessed February 2000.

[69] Overy, P., De Stijl, 1991, p.9.

[70] Smith, D., ‘Constructivism Page’, op.cit., 2001, notes that El Lissistsky had previously arranged an exhibition of Russian Constructivist art in Berlin in 1922.

[71] Warncke, C., De Stijl 1917-1931, 1994, pp.9-10.

[72] Weill, A., op.cit., 1985, p.149.

[73] Jobling, P., and Crowley, D., op.cit., 1996, p.139; Fry, E., op.cit., 1966, p.9.

[74] Fry, E., op.cit., 1966, p.33.

[75] Hutchinson, H.F., op.cit., 1968, p.88

[76] Anonymous, ‘Italian Futurist introductory essay’,, accessed September 29 2000.

[77] Taylor, J.C. Futurism, 1961, p.9.

[78] Anonymous, ‘Il Futurismo Font Set’,, accessed July 5 2001.

[79] Weill, A., op.cit., 1985, p.149.

[80] See Chapter 11 ‘Futurism and Fascism: Marinetti and Mussolini’, Tisdall, C. and Bozzolla, A. Futurism, 1977, pp.200-209.

[81] Taylor, J.C., op.cit., 1961, p.13.

[82] Rosenblum, R., Cubism in Twentieth Century Art, 1976, p.222.

[83] Chilvers, I., ‘A Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art: Vorticism’,, Oxford
Reference Online, written 1998, accessed August 13 2002. See Cork, R. Vorticism and Its Allies, 1974 for more information on the Vorticist movement in the UK.

[84] Weill, A., op.cit., 1985, p.149.

[85] Kerkauf, W., Dada: Monograph of a Movement, 1975, p.14.

[86] Ibid., p.8.

[87] Weill, A., op.cit., 1985, p.149.

[88] See Scott Bushe, G., ‘Photomontage in Advertising’, Advertising Monthly, September, 1939, pp.27-28 to see how photomontage was defined at the outbreak of war. See also Evans, D. and Gohl, S., Photomontage: A Political Weapon, 1986, and Heartfield, J., Photomontages of the Nazi Period, 1977.

[89] Quoted in Foster, J.K., op.cit., 1964, p.16. For example, in the poster ‘Always in Touch’, seen in figure 41, two separate images, one of the Underground Tube line, and one of a hand, which are legitimate images in their own right, but once combined project a forceful message of man in control of technology. (Hollis, Graphic Design, 1994, p.95) See Taylor, R., The Eisenstein Reader 1998 for more on Eisenstein and his theories of montage as used in the cinema.

[90] Leslie, R., Surrealism: The Dream of Revolution, 1997.

[91] Hutchinson, H.F., op.cit., 1968, p.88.

[92] Koshevoy, I., ‘Surrealism: 1924-1940’,, written March 1995, accessed July 5 2001.

[93] Haslam, M., The Real World of the Surrealists, 1978, p.7.

[94] Anonymous, ‘Posters and the French Artist’s International Lead in Poster Design’, Art and Industry, Vol. 29, No. 170, August 1940, pp.42-48.

[95] Hollis, R., op.cit., 1994, p.95.

[96] Ades, D., op.cit., 1984, p.64.

[97] Heller, S., and Chwast, S., op.cit., 1988, p.120.

[98] Darracott J., ‘Introduction’, in Darracott J. and Loftus, B. Second World War Posters, 1972 (1981 edition), p.9.

[99] Hutchinson, H.F., op.cit., 1968, p.89.

[100] Hillier, B., op.cit., 1969, p.258.

[101] Hollis, R., op.cit., 1994, p.89.

[102] Ades, D., op.cit.,1984, p.64.

[103] Paret, P., Lewis, B. I., and Paret, P., op.cit., 1992, p.142.

[104] Le Mahieu, D.L., A Culture for Democracy: Mass Communication and the Cultural Mind in Britain between the Wars, 1988, p.207.

[105] Saler, M.T., op.cit., 1999, p.182.

[106] Rickards, M., op.cit., 1971, p.49.

[107] Saler, M.T., op.cit., 1999, p.8.

[108] Ibid., p.9.

[109] Ibid., p.12.

[110] Ibid., p.16.

[111] Barnicoat, J., op.cit., 1972, p.242.

[112] Ades, D., op.cit., 1984, pp.24-5.

[113] Crowley, D.,’The Propaganda Poster’, in Timmers, M. (ed.), op.cit., 1998, p.114.

[114] Saler, M.T., op.cit., 1999, p.61.

[115] Heller, S., and Chwast, S., op.cit., 1988, p.151.

[116] Ibid., p.127.

3 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.