Sunday, October 30, 2011

Radio premiums / Westvaco Papers / 1981

Westvaco is probably best known as the paper company that published the free graphic arts magazine Westvaco Inspirations. Started in 1925 to showcase the companies papers for printers it became famous when Bradbury Thompson became the Art Editor in 1939 and designed all the issues up to the magazine’s closure in 1962.
    This large, eleven inches square, eighteen page brochure continues the excellence of design that Westvaco was known for and it’s a good example of paper sampler idea that companies developed from the sixties onward. Present the product, for designers and printers, in a format that will ensure it doesn’t end up in the trash.
     The theme here are the radio premiums from the golden age of radio serials during the thirties to the fifties. Aptly titled ‘…so send before midnight tomorrow…’ the pages celebrate the wonderful goodies that no kid could do without, especially if he was the first on his block with a new item. Jo Durden-Smith’s copy perfectly captures the feel of the times and the wonderful photos and graphics ensure that this brochure stays in the files.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Qantas / 1980s

The perfect brochure to promote Qantas (the Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Services, started in 1920). Thirty-six pages and designed by Kit Hinrichs, he says it was designed sometime in the early to mid 1980s.  Hinrichs is a designer from the old school which believed in doing things properly, for example: text wrap drop caps; use a limited number of typefaces; blend big and small photos and graphics on the page so that nothing looks out of place; lock cutout images into text areas.
    All of these and more are working hard on every page here. From the perfect front and back cover (above) to the center which has a wonderful fold-out, thirty inches wide, with twenty-nine small visual items with captions and a big strip graphic across the middle. Despite the busyness it all works perfectly.  This Qantas brochure really cannot be faulted and it could just as easily be published today because the concept is timeless.
    In 1990 Kit Hinrichs wrote a book Type wise (ISBN 0891343563) about typography and his thoughts on design, well worth searching out on the net.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Color book / AIGA and Champion Papers / 1974

In 1974 the American Institute of Graphic Arts asked its members to interpret the word Color. The idea was a project to establish a scholarship fund and to enable the AIGA to extend its activities in the graphic arts industry. The results are printed in this handsome soft cover book, published and given away by Champion Papers.
    The one hundred and seventy entries are one to a page in the book, which is just over nine and a half inches square and printed on Champion’s excellent Kromekote gloss paper. The first eight pages, with title page and short essays, are printed on colored stock.
    Now well over three decades old the illustrations have stood the test of time and still look fresh today. I put down this down to the professionalism of these creative folk who interpreted the concept in the widest possible sense. Designer Roger Cook submitted a slim upright white box with two buttons. Called Colorful sound, one button makes a man say Blue, the other button has a women saying Yellow, push both at the same time and they both say Green!  Several entries used a rainbow theme but they all looked completely different as did the designers who wrote various colors in black but used different colors for each letter of their signatures.
    The spreads below will give you an idea of the contents of this remarkable book. My copy shows signs of wear as I’ve looked through it so many times over the years.  Despite it originally being free copies can be found on the net at a reasonable price.