We are thrilled to have discovered one of the most delightful poster series ever created for the London Underground – the rare, 4-part series by Mark Severin, an accomplished Belgian artist who spent the Thirties in London.
Severin’s designs are a highlight in what is considered the greatest single company poster series ever, some 5,000 posters many created during the 32 year reign of Frank Pick, its legendary head til 1940. London was by 1900 the biggest city in the world, and Pick wanted to use posters to build traffic on the new system’s underused lines in a handsome and friendly way.
Why go home? (London Underground) by Mark Severin (1938)
Pick primarily focused on leisure destinations to increase nonessential, off-peak journeys. Early on his team created the world famous logo and design system that is still in use today. His fine eye and endless creativity led to his discovery of top artists such as McKnight Kauffer and commissions for world famous designers such as John Hassall, Abram Games, Andre Marty, Andrew Power, Zero, and Man Ray.
Why wait till later? (London Underground) by Mark Severin (1938)
In the late Thirties, with war tensions simmering, Pick wanted to promote ways to get Londoners to extend their work day in the city before traveling home. Severin’s series, showing the activities hour by hour on a clock made of the Underground logo became an instant classic.
Why home so soon? (London Underground) by Mark Severin (1938)
Vibrant scenes of restaurants (for after work snacks and later for supper) and crowded movie theatre (Ronald Coleman in If I were King) were followed by The Way Home, one of the best late night city scenes to be found in poster art. Severin’s incisive caricature of Londoners heading to “the tube” perfectly evokes the rich tableau of big city life.
The way home (London Underground) by Mark Severin (1938)
View all London Underground posters
One of our most unique recent discoveries, this handsome calendar was printed for RR Donnelley & Sons, a Chicago-based company specializing in printing, binding, designing and engraving. Each month features a robust American sportsperson, absorbed in the sport of the season.
The calendar was designed by Harry Cimino, a successful and highly skilled Chicago wood engraver. Cimino expertly renders his figures in simple, clean lines, making them pop from the background. Each 21.8″ x 39″ exquisitely printed calendar page was designed to be hung on the wall – often in the offices of Donnelley’s clients. Note too the graphics placed in the blank days of the month – clearly Cimino had fun with his assignment.
View the entire series here.
The Swiss Object Poster Style sought to create unforgettable icons out of everyday objects through breathtaking graphics and printing. No one artist knew how to accomplish this better than Peter Birkhauser, who created more than 50 Object Poster masterpieces during the Thirties, Forties and Fifties.
This elegant poster featuring a simple box is a perfect illustration of Birkhauser’s magic – the crisp folds of the wrapping paper, the trompe l’oeil affect of the green string, and the whimsical flip of the handle represent everything that the department store stands for.
For more Swiss posters, click here!
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