During WWII, graphic designers, illustrators, and artists used their talents to disseminate information and propaganda. Later, instead of promoting countries, the same strategies were used to promote products and enterprises.
Power of the Poster
During the war, posters encouraged people to enlist in the army or provided directions, such as wearing a gas mask. Others were propaganda aimed at instilling patriotic hate of the adversary in the public. Abram Games was the official poster artist in the United Kingdom (1914 – 1996). He was a big fan of catchy phrases and created the renowned ‘Careless Talk Costs Lives’ posters.
Postwar Poster Influence
Designers continued to employ symbols to communicate concepts interestingly after the conflict. The Festival of Britain emblem (’51), for example, was meticulously crafted to instil pride in the United Kingdom by showcasing Britannia’s Union Jack colours and head.
Raymond Loewy – Father of Design
Working in the United States, French-born designer Raymond Loewy (1893 – 1986) pioneered the concept of ‘good design’. He recognised that consumers had grown more sophisticated. He advised manufacturers to woo their customers with elegant and streamlined designs.
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‘Open Sans,’ a sans serif typeface designed by Steve Matteson, is what you’re reading right now. The clean lines of sans serif typefaces, such as Univers, were considered modern in the 1940s and 1950s.
Companies commissioned expert designers to create logos that would last a lifetime as they grew more aware of the significance of branding. They sought to recruit devoted customers who would stick to a single, well-known brand. One of the most successful and long-lasting corporate identification emblems was Paul Rand’s logo for IBM (1956). Rand’s ability to break down the logo into simple, timeless shapes contributed to his design clarity.
Jones, H. (2000). 20Th century design: The 40s & 50s: War and postwar years. Gareth Stevens. Retrieved from https://amzn.to/3LRqLDa.
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