This latest book from the Swiss Poster Museum looks at everyday objects and some fine examples are used to make the point. German graphic designer Lucian Bernhard is credited, in the text, as the person who developed this style of poster art that used just an image of the product and the company name. Unfortunately there are only four examples of his remarkable work in the book but other graphic designers who also created their own poster style are well represented.
Nikolas Stoecklin and Donald Brun were the leading Swiss creators of the poster painting style called the New Objectivity (a sort of very simple Photo Realism). Stoecklin has some lovely examples on the book including a stunning painting of a tube of suntan cream that has some immaculate italic lettering along the tube. Part of his poster for Binaca toothpaste is used on the cover. Several posters by Brun show his clever graphic style and one for Bell meats beautifully uses the company name and product in one simple graphic.
This style of poster art has almost vanished. To quote from Bettina Richer's short essay: 'When possession of certain things became so widespread that they could no longer be used to define social differences and with the continual growth in products in the same price and quality class, advertising actively shifted its focus to other, more emotional values'. Despite this there some posters from the last few years including a very clever one for Signal toothpaste from 2005. It just shows strips of Signal with the name created out of the red part of the paste. On the opposite page to Signal is a Bic ballpoint pen poster with the name scribbled out and it was done in 1961 yet looks like it could have been done in the last year or two.
There are ninety-two posters in the book, all in color, mostly one to a page with the rest four to a page. If you've seen others books in this series this one follows the same style. Overall a fascinating look at a past poster style.
Left: a lovely Lucian Bernhard poster from 1905.
Otto Baumberger's impressive bit of Photo-realism from 1923. A poster for mens clothing.
Left: Cassandre poster for Pathe records, 1932.
Everyday objects come alive in these simple elegant designs.
Right: some amazing hand-lettering in the original painting.
Right: Donald Brun poster for Bell from 1966.
Left: Walter Balmer's poster for Olivetti, 1968.
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