Thursday, November 03, 2005

Digital - Fred Woodward ( 1953 - )

Respectful of the magazine’s design legacy—begun by Robert Kingsbury in the late 1960’s and continuing with the work of Roger Black and Mike Salisbury—Woodward reintroduced some original features such as the Oxford border. This framing device helped clarify the relationship between editorial and advertising, and it gave Woodward a defined space in which to let loose the dramatically choreographed couplings of typography and photography that have become the magazine’s visual signature.

Amongst Woodward’s memorable spreads, in which he makes a typographic response to a photograph, is the one for an Arnold Schwarznegger profile in which he positioned the headline across a photograph of the actor sitting in a giant inner tube so that the tube becomes the “O” in the title “Big Shot.”

Respectful of the magazine’s design legacy—begun by Robert Kingsbury in the late 1960’s and continuing with the work of Roger Black and Mike Salisbury—Woodward reintroduced some original features such as the Oxford border. This framing device helped clarify the relationship between editorial and advertising, and it gave Woodward a defined space in which to let loose the dramatically choreographed couplings of typography and photography that have become the magazine’s visual signature.

Amongst Woodward’s memorable spreads, in which he makes a typographic response to a photograph, is the one for an Arnold Schwarznegger profile in which he positioned the headline across a photograph of the actor sitting in a giant inner tube so that the tube becomes the “O” in the title “Big Shot.”

Sometimes, however, Woodward let the photography do all the talking. In the case of the “Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young” headline, no text is used. Instead readers are treated to the visual joke of a sequence of full-bleed black and white photographs of the band members in the appropriate order, punctuated by a page-sized ampersand.

The energy and innovation necessary to keeping a magazine fresh through almost 400 issues did not go unnoticed. In 1996 when Woodward was inducted to the Art Directors Hall of Fame he was the youngest inductee to date.

In 2001 Woodward became design director at GQ magazine. Within a year his elegant redesign had scooped the Society of Publication Designers’ Magazine of the Year award.
Virtuoso of American publishing design and creator of Rolling Stone’s visual sensibility.

The visual language Woodward developed for Rolling Stone between 1987 and 2001 was expressive and eclectic, containing elements both of cool modernism and of American vernacular such as fat ornamental wood-block display faces, composition deriving from 19th-century handbills, and a weathered color palette.

Fred Woodward’s illustrious career in publishing design began tentatively. At Mississippi State and then Memphis State, he switched majors from journalism to physical education to political science before settling on graphic design.

Two semesters into his new major, he got a job at a local design studio that led to his appointment as art director of a regional magazine, Memphis. In succession he worked for D Magazine in Dallas, Westward, the Sunday magazine of the Dallas Times Herald, Texas Monthly, and Regardie’s in Washington DC.

Finally, in 1987, Woodward was made art director of the bi-weekly rock ‘n’ roll bible Rolling Stone. It was the job he’d wanted for more than a decade.

Digital - Neville Brody

Neville Brody was born in Britain, and studied graphic design at the London College of Printing. After designing record covers for the independent labels Still Records and Fetish Records, he became art director of The Face, a British style magazine.

Between 1983 and 1990 he provided art direction for several other magazines, including City Limits, a London weekly guide, Arena, a style magazine, Per Lui and Lei (Italy), and Actuel (France).

In 1987 he founded his own London-based design practice, The Studio, which worked on several corporate identities and fashion projects for clients including Nike, the Dutch Postal Service, and the German cable channel Premiere.

He has designed several popular typefaces including Arcadia, Industria, Insignia, FF Blur, FF Pop, FF Gothic, and FF Harlem. He is also a partner of FontShop International in Berlin and FontWorks in London, and founding editor of the digital magazine FUSE.

Digital - David Carson - 1956

In the year 1956, David Carson was born. Until the age of 27, he had never known the graphic design profession existed. Prior to his venture in the design field, he was a sociology professor. Carson was(is) also a surfer which let him express things directly to the sub-cultures that made up his early audience.

His unique style has been called illegible. Rules of design are constantly and consistently broken in Carson's work. He would let typed lines run into each other, cross gutters, or be upside-down. He would layer type and image until neither was distinguishable on the page and even continued an article on the front cover of a magazine.

Carson has never believed that one must first know the rules in order to break them. With only a single class as training, he became art director for Transworld
Skateboarding. He immediately found praise and a sort of cult following; however, advertisers were not willing to support his radical approach. Beach Culture was under the direction of Carson for three years until it ceased publication due to a lack of advertising.


Under his direction, Beach Culture won over 150 awards, including "Best Overall Design". Carson is most well known for his work art directing the magazine Ray Gun. His design ideas were incorporated completely with the magazine.

The publication had no consistent typefaces or layouts; even the masthead was recreated for each issue. The result was a magazine that was strikingly fresh looking with every issue.

To Carson, image and type are the medium of expression. His designs do not start out with the intention of being illegible or hard to read. The design begins as an expression to communicate the feeling or message of the article to the reader upon contact.

It is because of this priority that the actual words of the article may be obscured, illegible, or just non-existent. During his early work with Ray Gun, authors would complain that their work had been destroyed.

After 5-6 issues, authors were complaining that their articles looked plain next to others. Carson's experimental typography had taken hold of the 90's. Later, Carson transferred his work with editorial design to advertising, working on distinctive campaigns for such companies as Nike, Pepsi, and General Motors. Then in 1997, Carson returned to the magazine format with blue.

Carson's style is widely imitated, but he will always be the calm laid-back surfer
who made the design world squint, turn the page sideways, hold the page back some, then -in exasperation- put the magazine down and just accept.

Digital - Rudy VanderLans

Rudy VanderLans was born in The Hague and received a BA in graphic design from the Dutch Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1979. He worked as a designer in the Netherlands before traveling to Berkeley to study photography in 1982. In 1984, he began to edit, design, and publish a magazine called “Émigré” with two fellow Dutchmen who were also living in San Francisco at the time.

The magazine became a laboratory for experimentation. It irritated and inspired design houses by its lack of formal design rules. The partners left and three issues later, Zuzana Licko joined him and their acclaimed pioneering relationship took off. Licko is a native of Czechoslovakia and she received a BA in visual communications from the University of California, Berkeley in 1984. In 1987, VanderLans left his newspaper design job and formed a design company partnership with Licko called Émigré Graphics.


Dissatisfied with the limited fonts available for the early Macintosh, Licko used a public domain character generation software called FontEditor to create digital typefaces. As one of a handful of designers in the mid-1980’s who fully appreciated the creative potential of the computer’s inherent bitmapped peculiarities, she exploited these characteristic’s in a series of progressively inventive fonts, in effect altering the design world’s perception of computer typography.

Zuzana Licko and Rudy VanderLans significant contribution to both visual design and communication methods is threefold. First, there is Licko’s pioneering exploration into digital typography. Second, there are the typographical compositions that VanderLans developes for Émigré magazine to show off his wife/partner’s groundbreaking computer fonts.


Finally there is the content of Émigré magazine itself. Licko and VanderLans initially envisioned Émigré as a fast method to disseminate their work. However, the magazine quickly rose to prominence as a showcase for the talents of many significant and like minded artists. It also provided an international forum for scrutinizing new and experimental graphic design, focusing on design philosophy and the impact of visual communication on society.

As the magazine has evolved through the years, it has become less of a showcase for design work and more of a forum for communication issues. Significantly, its readership now includes a number of sociologists and media watchers. VanderLan’s designs have likewise changed to match the content, varying widely from a classically type driven, grid proper layout in one issue to a widely distorted montage of imagery and typography in the next.

Digital - Susan Kare

susan kare’s designs have become an integral part of the computer culture. she is a 2001 recipient of the chrysler design award.

kare, who’s office is based in san francisco, designed most of the distinctive icons, typefaces and other graphic elements that gave the original macintosh computer its characteristic appearance.

Digital - Andy Warhol (1928-1987)

Andy Warhol began as a commercial illustrator, and a very successful one, doing jobs like shoe ads for I. Miller in a stylish blotty line that derived from Ben Shahn. He first exhibited in an art gallery in 1962, when the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles showed his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans, 1961-62.

From then on, most of Warhol's best work was done over a span of about six years, finishing in 1968, when he was shot. And it all flowed from one central insight: that in a culture glutted with information, where most people experience most things at second or third hand through TV and print, through images that become banal and disassociated by repeated again and again and again, there is role for affect less art.

Digital - Keith Haring

Born in Philadelphia, Keith Haring studied at both the Ivy School of Art in Pittsburgh and the New York School of Visual Arts. Under the encouragement of Keith Sonnler and Joseph Kossuth, Haring began to experiment in Conceptualism.
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Even more of his inspiration came from comic strips, cartoons, and the graffiti that he saw in the New York streets. Haring spent sometime actually contributing to the graffiti, covering advertisements with chalk and markers. In the 1980s, he expanded to commercial art, printing his primitive figures and forms on t-shirts, badges, posters, and murals.

Digital

Computers replaced many of the skilled trades in graphics and enabled one person to fill many roles. The growth of cable and satellite TV took ad revenue away from major stations and transformed mass market advertising into smaller and more specific audiences. Douglas C. Engelbart developed the mouse which enabled direct interactivity to the computer instead of lengthy programming and typing code.
1980's: Macintosh released Apple computer, Adobe invented a postscript programming language that enabled page layout and electronically generated typography, Aldus published pagemaker, printers became able to print 1200 dots per inch.

1990’s: QuarkXPress enabled designers to place elements in increment of a hundred thousandths of an inch, Photoshop enabled image manipulation and creation.
The label "digital" is author Steven Heller's attempt at labeling a new graphic style currently emerging in larger urban market.

Other labels for the same style include, "urban" "deconstruction", "distressed", and "post-grunge".

Like "contemporary" style, "digital" style is not a historical movement since it is happening right now.

The term digital is a temporary label. Once the movement has ended, historians will be better positioned to properly label this period.

"digital" look, surprisingly, doesn't look digital. Computer are logic machines that create very clean mathematical code made of zeros and ones.

Yet artists who use the computer as a creative tool have created work that looks messy, chaotic, anarchic, absurd, layered, illegible, unstable, expressive, poetic - anything but logical. This irony is what makes digital so fun.

The loosening of the "rules" of modernism and the "permission" granted to allow decoration again during the postmodern period eventually lead to the wholesale destruction of any and all convention during this period.

Like the psychedelic artists, digital artists are testing the waters just to see how far they can go.
In addition, untrained designers known as "mouse dj" were able to get their hands on some very powerful tools such as Photoshop, Freehand, etc, etc

Terefore deteriorating the traditional standards of visual communication. Add to this the ability for anyone to publish anything they wish on the internet and you literally have anarchy on your hands...or in this case on the tip of your mouse

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Post modernim - Nancy Skolos

Nancy Skolos grew up in Lima, Ohio with the dream of becoming a professional clarinetist. She gave up this dream in favor of Industrial Design. After two years at the University of Cincinnati, she transferred to Cranbrook Academy of Art to complete her BFA under Katherine and Michael McCoy.

While at Cranbrook, she met her future husband, Thomas Wedell, who was completing his graduate degree in photography. She went on to earn her MFA at Yale University in a Graphic Design department headed by Alvin Eisenman that included Bradbury Thompson, Paul Rand, Herbert Matter, and Armin Hofmann.

After six months in her first design job, Skolos quit in order to join her husband in establishing their own studio. As a team, photographer and graphic designer, the two work to diminish the boundaries between graphic design and photography - creating collaged three-dimensional images influenced by modern painting, technology and architecture.

They have produced posters, corporate identities, books, exhibits, web sites, and videos for many high-technology clients. The resulting work's energy, vibrant color and texture has grown from the spirit of the technology it was commissioned to represent.

Skolos+Wedell’s work has received numerous awards and has been widely exhibited. Awards include the Silver Prize, Lahti Poster Biennale and the Bronze Prize, International Triennial of Posters Toyama, Japan.

Skolos/Wedell's posters are included in the graphic design collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Library of Congress, the Museum für Gestaltung, Zurich, Switzerland, and Bibliothéque Nationale de France. In addition, Skolos is an elected member of The Alliance Graphique Internationale.


Post modernism - April Greiman

April Greiman´s innovative ideas and hybrid-based approach have influenced and served design and designers, clients, and their projects worldwide over the last 25 years.
Her explorations of typography and color as objects in time and space are grounded in her singular fusion of technology and graphics.
A designer who continues to change our perceptions, her work has been instrumental in the acceptance and use of advanced technology in problem solving and the design process.
In the early 1980s, Greiman pioneered digital design and became renowned for her radical experiments with the Apple Macintosh.
A growing interest in the built environment has led to close collaborations with architecture firms such as Emilio Ambasz & Associates, Will Bruder Architects, Frank O. Gehry & Associates, and RoTo Architects.
These projects range from signage and exhibitions to the development of color, surfaces, and materials palettes.
Today, April Greiman brings a unique approach that blends technology and science with symbol and, myth, words and images with texture and space.
Her singular expertise is focused on color-surfaces-materials consulting and trans-media identity and lifestyle-branding projects for such clients as AOL Time Warner, Sears Great Indoors, Amgen, Inc., and the new La Jolla Playhouse.

Postmodernism - Wolfgang Weingart (1941 -)

Born in 1941, Wolfgang Weingart is an independent graphic designer and a very influential teacher at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Basel.
Weingart started with a three-year apprenticeship with a hand-typesetter from 1958 in Stuttgart. He then traveled to Basel where he enrolled in the School of Arts and Crafts.
These brief studies, under Emil Ruder and Armin Hofmann, were the extent of Weingart's studies as he was mostly self-taught. Neither Ruder nor Hofmann was a significant stylistic influence on Weingart's work; however, the idea of a systematic approach to learning was introduced to Weingart by Hofmann.
Weingart worked as a freelance designer in Basel until Ruder's death in 1968 when he was asked to join the faculty at Basel.
Weingart's typographic education broke free from the traditional Swiss grid system, asymmetry, and use of text flush-left/ragged- right.
When Weingart challenged these tenets which had become quite formulaic by the late 1960's, his new approach had international impact.
Weingart did, however, maintain that whatever the system, whether type is set ragged-left/ragged-right or on a center axis, etc., typography should have a hidden structure and visual order.
In the late 1970's, Weingart began to experiment in more a pictoral approach. He would create a sort of a photo-mechanical montage by stacking and layering film positives to create juxtopositions of images, text, and textural effects. He became fascinated with the process and showed visual subtlety and complexity can lend itself to the legibility of the work.
His typographic experiments, poster commissions, international lectures, projects of magazines (Typographische Monatsblatter, Visible Language), and teaching career at the Kunstgewerbeschule allowed
Weingart's ideas reach a wide professional design audience during the middle and late 1970's. Many of those who studied under Weingart at Basel returned home to their native countries to teach. This spread his new approach to typography exponentially amidst the new generation of designers.
Weingart did, however, maintain that whatever the system, whether type is set ragged-left/ragged-right or on a center axis, etc., typography should have a hidden structure and visual order.
In the late 1970's, Weingart began to experiment in more a pictoral approach. He would create a sort of a photo-mechanical montage by stacking and layering film positives to create juxtopositions of images, text, and textural effects. He became fascinated with the process and showed visual subtlety and complexity can lend itself to the legibility of the work.
His typographic experiments, poster commissions, international lectures, projects of magazines (Typographische Monatsblatter, Visible Language), and teaching career at the Kunstgewerbeschule allowed
Weingart's ideas reach a wide professional design audience during the middle and late 1970's. Many of those who studied under Weingart at Basel returned home to their native countries to teach. This spread his new approach to typography exponentially amidst the new generation of designers.

Post modernim - Jamie Reid (1947 - )

Artist, Situationist, druid, activist, Jamie Reid is the man who cut-and-pasted the Punk movement of the late 70's. Responsible for the Sex Pistols legendary 'Never Mind the Bollocks' artwork, Reid is the man that put the safety pin through Her Majesty's lower lip.

Loved and loathed, he visually epitomized the D.I.Y punk ethic with his own form of visual anarchy. Reid's unique re-mixing of 1960's imagery with 1970's Punk ethic creates an unsurpassed anarchistic feel.

The Swastika Eyeballs image was first submitted to A&M for the cover of the Sex Pistol's God Save the Queen 7" & subsequently banned. Apart from a poster that was issued in Spain this is the first publication of one of Reid's most iconoclastic images.

Samples of Jamie Reid work 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Monday, October 31, 2005

Postmodernism -1975 - 1990

By the 1970s, many people believed the modern era was drawing to a close in art, design, politics, and literature.

The cultural norms of Western society were scrutinized and the authority of traditional institutions was questioned.

An era of pluralism emerged as people began to dispute the underlying tenets of modernism.

The continuing quest for equality by women and minorities contributed to a growing climate of cultural diversity, as did immigration, international travel, and global communications.
Accepted viewpoints were challenged by those who sought to remedy bias, prejudice, and distortion in the historical record.

The social, economic, and environmental awareness of the period caused many to believe the modern aesthetic was no longer relevant in an emerging postindustrial society.

People in many fields including architects, economists, feminists, and even theologians--embraced the term postmodernism to express a climate of cultural change.

Maddeningly vague and overused, postmodernism became a byword in the last quarter of the twentieth century.
In design, postmodernism designated the work of architects and designers who were breaking with the international style so prevalent since the Bauhaus.

Postmodernism sent shock waves through the design establishment as it challenged the order and clarity of modern design, particularly corporate design.

(Some observers reject the term postmodern, arguing that it is merely a continuation of the modern movement.
Late modernism and mannerism are preferred as alternative terms for late twentieth-century design.)

Design forms and terminology have political and social meaning, expressing attitudes and values of their time; postmodernism gained a strong foothold among the generation of designers who emerged in the 1970s.

Perhaps the international style had been so thoroughly refined, explored, and accepted that a backlash was inevitable.

Historical references, decoration, and the vernacular were disdained by modernists, while postmodern designers drew upon these resources to expand the range of design possibilities.
Late modernism and mannerism are preferred as alternative terms for late twentieth-century design.)

Design forms and terminology have political and social meaning, expressing attitudes and values of their time; postmodernism gained a strong foothold among the generation of designers who emerged in the 1970s.

Perhaps the international style had been so thoroughly refined, explored, and accepted that a backlash was inevitable.

Historical references, decoration, and the vernacular were disdained by modernists, while postmodern designers drew upon these resources to expand the range of design possibilities.

As the social activism of the late 1960s gave way to more self-absorbed, personal involvements during the 1970s, media pundits spoke of the Me Generation to convey the spirit of the decade.

The intuitive and playful aspects of postmodern design reflect personal involvement.

Postmodern designers place a form in space because it 'feels' right rather than to fulfill a rational communicative need.

As radically different as a psychedelic poster and a visual-identity manual might be, both are corporate design, for or relating to a unified body of people with common values.

On the other hand, much postmodernist design is subjective and even eccentric; the designer becomes an artist performing before an audience with the bravura of a street musician, and the audience either responds or passes on.

The umbrella term postmodernism does not tell the whole story, because while architecture may fit rather neatly into historical categories (Victorian, art nouveau, modern, and postmodern), graphic design is far too pluralistic and diverse to fit such a simplistic system.

On the other hand, much postmodernist design is subjective and even eccentric; the designer becomes an artist performing before an audience with the bravura of a street musician, and the audience either responds or passes on.

The umbrella term postmodernism does not tell the whole story, because while architecture may fit rather neatly into historical categories (Victorian, art nouveau, modern, and postmodern), graphic design is far too pluralistic and diverse to fit such a simplistic system

The Psychedelic Era - Milton Glaser

Glaser, Milton, is widely considered America's preeminent graphic designer of the last half of the 20th cent., b. New York City. After graduating (1951) from New York's Cooper Union Art School, he studied in Italy. In 1954 Glaser and three partners founded a groundbreaking New York design firm, the Push Pin Studio.

From that point on, Glaser's ever-changing design work, which draws widely on art history, has had enormous international influence. He left Push Pin in 1974, opened his own design firm, and later (1984) became a partner in another New York studio. He was art director of New York magazine (1968–76) and the Village Voice newspaper (1975–77) and was responsible for the design of many other publications.

Over the course of his long career, his creations have tended to change from hard-edged Pop and psychadelic designs to a softer, more expressionistic or naturalistic style. Glaser's work includes the creation of many posters, notably the iconic Bob Dylan silhouette (1966); book and record covers; book illustrations; type; corporate logos; interiors; and architectural projects. One of his most famous designs is the 1976 “I Love New York” logo.

The Psychedelic Era - Wes wilson

Wes Wilson, who is generally acknowledged as the father of the '60s rock concert poster, was born Robert Wesley Wilson, on July 15, 1937, in Sacramento, California. Wilson grew up without the special interest in art that is typical of most of his contemporary poster artists. Instead, he was more interested in nature and the outdoors, studying forestry and horticulture at a small junior college in Auburn, California. He attended San Francisco State, but dropped out in 1963, where his major, at that time, had become philosophy.

Wilson's introduction to the Bay Area scene is an example of serendipity at its finest. The time was late 1965 and early 1966, and the whole San Francisco alternative culture scene was just emerging. We then bring together Wes Wilson, who had a natural talent for art and an interest in printing, with Bob Carr, who had formed, in his basement, the small firm Contact Printing. Carr was in touch with the whole San Francisco beat poetry and jazz scene, which was now in the process of transforming itself.

Wilson, who had become Carr's assistant and partner, was doing the basic layout design for most of the work. The press also did handbills for the San Francisco Mime Troup fundraising benefits, the so-called 'Appeal' parties, as well as for the Merry Prankster Acid Tests. The Mime Troupe and the Acid Tests were linked to the emerging dance-hall scene through this series of benefit concerts, so it is no surprise that the new dance venues, like the Avalon Ballroom and Fillmore Auditorium, soon found their way to Contact Printing.

Wilson is also reported to have been inspired by Alphonse Mucha, Van Gogh, Gustav Klimpt, and Egon Schiele. Somewhere around this time, a friend showed him a copy of a 1908 poster done by the Viennese Secessionist artist, Alfred Roller. It contained an alphabet and lettering style quite similar to what Wilson had been doing and marked a direction toward which he aspired. It was not long before Wilson absorbed the Roller style, altering it to his own needs. What followed was an explosion of lettering creativity that changed the poster scene permanently.

Wes Wilson single-handedly pioneered what is now known as the psychedelic poster. His style of filling all available space with lettering, of creating fluid forms made from letters, and using flowing letters to create shapes became the standard that most psychedelic artists followed. It helped put the "psychedelic" in the art. The first clear example of this, and a key piece in Wilson's history, was the poster BG-18, done for a show with the Association at the Fillmore Auditorium. Set in a background of green is a swirling flame-form of red letters. With this poster came a new concept in the art of that time, perhaps the first true 'psychedelic poster.'

hen, in late 1966, Wilson created a poster for the Winterland venue that has been nicknamed "The Sound." It combines two aspects of Wilson's style that are unmistakable: his ability to fill all available space with vibrant, flowing letters (mentioned above) and his admiration and respect for the feminine form. In fact, this is one of a handful of posters from that era that are considered representative of the entire period, another being the Soundproof Production's poster by Rick Griffin, nicknamed the "Aoxomoxoa.“

In this writer's opinion, Wilson's treatment of women and the feminine form is one of his most lasting contributions to the poster art of the sixties. Not deliberately erotic, his nudes never skirt pornography. Instead, his admiration and appreciation for the feminine form and all that it represents is clear. Wilson's nudes are definitive of the period.

In summary, it is safe to say that the psychedelic poster, as we have come to know it, was defined by Wes Wilson sometime in the summer of 1966. Wilson pretty much reigned supreme among the poster artists at that time.

The Psychedelic Era - Bonnie Maclean

Bonnie MacLean was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1961, received a B.A. from Pennsylvania State University, moved to San Francisco, California, made a series of rock and roll posters for the Fillmore Auditorium, and then studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, the San Francisco Academy of Art, and the California College of Arts and Crafts, Mexican Extension. In 1972, returned to the East Coast and settled in Bucks County.

For Samples of Bonnie Maclean´s work click here

Victor Moscoso

Born in Spain, Victor Moscoso was the first of the rock poster artists with academic training and experience. After studying art at Cooper Union in New York City and at Yale University, he moved to San Francisco in 1959, where he attended the San Francisco Art Institute, eventually becoming an instructor there.

At a dance at the Avalon Ballroom, Moscoso saw rock posters and decided that he could "make some money doing posters for those guys." In the fall of 1966 he began designing posters for the Family Dog and also produced posters for the Avalon Ballroom. Under his own imprint, Neon Rose, he did a series for Matrix, a local night spot. Moscoso's style is most notable for its visual intensity, which is obtained by manipulating form and color to create optical effects.

Moscoso's use of intense color contrasts and vibrating edges and borders was influenced by painter Josef Albers, his teacher at Yale. Given Moscoso's artistic sophistication, it is not surprising that he was the first of the rock poster artists to use photographic collage.

For a biography of Victor Moscoso click here
Samples of his work click here


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The Psychedelic Era (1965-1975)

The Psychedelic Era is associated with the use of psychedelic drugs such as LSD, mescaline and psilocybin), also produced psychedelic art which may enjoyed by both those who have, and who have not, had a personal psychedelic experience.

Psychedelic art gained widespread popularity as the visual component of psychedelic music by such musicians as Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, and Pink Floyd through concert posters and album covers by designers including Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse, and Martin Sharp.

Drug-induced psychedelic experience is not a prerequisite for being adept at psychedelic art. M.C. Escher, Mati Klarwein and Salvador Dalí produced art that can be considered psychedelic, without the use of psychedelics.

The word itself, Psychedelic, means mind-expanding, and the Psychedelic drug, LSD, or acid, was thought to be a way to expand one’s thinking by temporarily removing the user from the world to find some other way. This poster announced a music event, but also symbolically portrayed an escape from reality—a drug-induced trip.

It’s clear that many of the Psychedelic poster artists borrowed heavily from other styles and time periods like this direct pick-up from Art Nouveau. But it made sense within the context of counter-culture—it was flowing and dreamlike rather than clean and timeless. And what I find redeeming in all this “piracy” is that it became its own language.

As design critic Steve Heller wrote in his book, Graphic Wit, “Psychedelia borrowed from the vernaculars of previous times and places to become the vernacular of its own time and place.” The language was used to speak to a community people that understood. It became a Psychedelic language.

some of the poster artists related their use of LSD to the absinthe Parisian artists drank in the 1800s. But in order to attain this level of craft it’s doubtful that they were tripping while creating these forms. They really translated the experience of LSD, after the fact. Of course, the electronic music and experimental light shows that flowed together were also huge factors in the translation.

At the time that these Psychedelic posters were being created, the predominant Western graphic design language was the International Style.

One of the aesthetic rules within tagging is that you never lift your marker off the wall, or your finger off the spray can, until the tag is complete. And so when you see the tags ganged together, you don’t see the names anymore, but more the gesture, all speaking a particular visual language, and blending into a unified whole against the urban environment.

The Psychedelic posters played with this idea, but within the confines of the poster itself. Type and image became one, unified into a “gestalt pattern.” It may seem strange for an announcement to have gestalt as part of its agenda—to be deliberately indecipherable. Camouflaging is a great use of gestalt theory, but not posters. Yet the artist’s knew their audience were not only willing, but preferred the coding and the requirement to spend time with each piece. I read that when they’d hang the posters on the street, they’d come back an hour later and 90% of them would be gone.

The idea of vibrating colors became part of the language because they visually reproduced the effects of hallucinogens.

Psychedelia was digested by east coast graphic designers too, especially in the work of the Pushpin Group of New York City. The illustrators and designers at Pushpin had been playing with alternative colors, typefaces, and an eclectic approach to style even before the Psychedelia. But they weren’t challenging the social culture as much as they were the modernist design culture. The preceding generation’s rules on how to make graphic design were being questioned.

You may download a self-running "projector" of a slide show Lecture, from the Parkland College of Graphic Design, in either Windows or Mac format (file sizes can be rather large, so a 56K or faster Internet connection is recommended). I highly recommend this option since you can view the slide shows as many times as you want without downloading it again. For Mac clickhere for Pc click here

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

New York School - Brownjohn, Chermayeff & Geismar

Brownjohn, Chermayeff & Geismar was a New York advertising firm founded in 1957 that referred to itself as a “design office”. Robert Brownjohn (1925-1970) had studied painting and design under Moholy-Nagy; Ivan Chermayeff(1932 -) was the son of Serge Chermayeff – a distinguished architect and had worked as an assistant to Alvin Lustig.

Thomas H. Geismar (1931-) had served 2 years as an exhibition designer and then freelanced. Their contribution sprang from a strong aesthetic background and an understanding of the major ideas of European modern art. Images and symbols were combined with a surreal sense of dislocation to convey the essence of the subject in book jackets.

Their graphic solutions often came out of their knowledge of typography and art history. In the cover for Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare, the atomic blast becomes a visual metaphor for the human brain, graphically echoing the title.

For samples ofBrownjohn click here
For Samples of Chermayeff & Geismar click here

New York School - Bradbury Thompson (1911 – 1995)

Bradbury Thompson emerged as one of most influential designers in postwar America – and incorporated a classical approach. Originally from Topeka, Kansas, he eventually moved to New York.

His designs for Westvaco Inspirations, a four-color publication demonstrating printing papers from 1939 to 1961, had tremendous impact. A thorough knowledge of printing and typesetting combined with an adventurous spirit of experimentation allowed Thompson to expand the range of design possibilities.

With a limited budget for new plates and artwork, Westvaco Inspirations used letterpress plates of art and illustration borrowed from advertising agencies and museums and Thompson used the typecast and print shop as a studio and resource. Often the four-color process plates were taken apart and used to create designs and then overprinted to create new colors and designs.

For more information and sample of Bradbury Thompson click here

New York School - Alvin Lustig (1915 – 1955)

Alvin Lustig (1915 – 1955) was born in Colorado but bounced between the east and west coasts and worked in architecture, graphic design, and interior design. He operated a small graphic design and printing business from the rear of a drugstore in LA.

James Laughton of New Direction books in New York began to commission book and jacket designs from him. New Directions published books of outstanding literary quality and it fit with Lustig’s design methodology; searching for symbols to capture the essences of the contents and treating form and content as one.

To see sample of works of Alvin Lustig, click here

New York School - Paul Rand (1914-96)

initiated this American approach to modern design. His ability to manipulate visual form (shape, color, space, line, value) and skillful analysis of communications content, reducing it to a symbolic essence without being sterile or dull, allowed Rand to become widely influential while still in his twenties.

Thoughts on Design, his 1946 book illustrated with over eighty examples of his work, inspired a generation of designers. For all his visual inventiveness, Rand defined design as the integration of form and function for effective communication.

The cultural role of the designer was defined as upgrading rather than as serving the least common denominator of public taste. This is a major hallmark of his contribution--perhaps there is a limit to how far a designer can follow the modern painter into the uncharted realm of pure form and subjective expression without losing the vital foothold on public communication.

Logo work of Paul Rand click here
Samples of work click here

New York School - Saul Bass 1920-1996

SAUL BASS (1920-1996) was not only one of the great graphic designers of the mid-20th century but the undisputed master of film title design thanks to his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger and Martin Scorsese. When the reels of film for Otto Preminger’s controversial new drugs movie, The Man with the Golden Arm, arrived at US movie theatres in 1955, a note was stuck on the cans - "Projectionists – pull curtain before titles".

Until then, the lists of cast and crew members which passed for movie titles were so dull that projectionists only pulled back the curtains to reveal the screen once they’d finished. But Preminger wanted his audience to see The Man with the Golden Arm’s titles as an integral part of the film. The movie’s theme was the struggle of its hero - a jazz musician played by Frank Sinatra - to overcome his heroin addiction.

Designed by the graphic designer Saul Bass the titles featured an animated black paper-cut-out of a heroin addict’s arm. Knowing that the arm was a powerful image of addiction, Bass had chosen it – rather than Frank Sinatra’s famous face - as the symbol of both the movie’s titles and its promotional poster.

That cut-out arm caused a sensation and Saul Bass reinvented the movie title as an art form. By the end of his life, he had created over 50 title sequences for Preminger, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, John Frankenheimer and Martin Scorsese.

Although he later claimed that he found the Man with the Golden Arm sequence "a little disappointing now, because it was so imitated".

Even before he made his cinematic debut, Bass was a celebrated graphic designer. Born in the Bronx district of New York in 1920 to an emigré furrier and his wife, he was a creative child who drew constantly. Bass studied at the Art Students League in New York and Brooklyn College under Gyorgy Kepes, an Hungarian graphic designer who had worked with László Moholy-Nagy in 1930s Berlin and fled with him to the US.

Kepes introduced Bass to Moholy’s Bauhaus style and to Russian Constructivism. After apprenticeships with Manhattan design firms, Bass worked as a freelance graphic designer or "commercial artist" as they were called. Chafing at the creative constraints imposed on him in New York, he moved to Los Angeles in 1946.

After freelancing, he opened his own studio in 1950 working mostly in advertising until Preminger invited him to design the poster for his 1954 movie, Carmen Jones. Impressed by the result, Preminger asked Bass to create the film’s title sequence too. Now over-shadowed by Bass’ later work, Carmen Jones elicited commissions for titles for two 1955 movies: Robert Aldrich’s The Big Knife, and Billy Wilder’s The Seven Year Itch.

But it was his next Preminger project, The Man with the Golden Arm, which established Bass as the doyen of film title design. Over the next decade he honed his skill by creating an animated mini-movie for Mike Todd’s 1956 Around The World In 80 Days and a tearful eye for Preminger’s 1958 Bonjour Tristesse. Blessed with the gift of identifying the one image which symbolised the movie, Bass then recreated it in a strikingly modern style. Martin Scorsese once described his approach as creating: "an emblematic image, instantly recognisable and immediately tied to the film".

In 1958’s Vertigo, his first title sequence for Alfred Hitchcock, Bass shot an extreme close-up of a woman’s face and then her eye before spinning it into a sinister spiral as a bloody red soaks the screen. For his next Hitchcock commission, 1959’s North by Northwest, the credits swoop up and down a grid of vertical and diagonal lines like passengers stepping off elevators. It is only a few minutes after the movie has begun - with Cary Grant stepping out of an elevator - that we realise the grid is actually the façade of a skyscraper. Equally haunting are the vertical bars sweeping across the screen in a manic, mirrored helter-skelter motif at the beginning of Hitchcock’s 1960 Psycho.

This staccato sequence is an inspired symbol of Norman Bates’ fractured psyche. Hitchcock also allowed Bass to work on the film itself, notably on its dramatic highpoint, the famous shower scene with Janet Leigh.

Assisted by his second wife, Elaine, Bass created brilliant titles for other directors - from the animated alley cat in 1961’s Walk on the Wild Side, to the adrenalin-laced motor racing sequence in 1966’s Grand Prix. He then directed a series of shorts culminating in 1968’s Oscar-winning Why Man Creates and finally realised his ambition to direct a feature with 1974’s Phase IV. When Phase IV flopped, Bass returned to commercial graphic design. His corporate work included devising highly successful corporate identities for United Airlines, AT&T, Minolta, Bell Telephone System and Warner Communications. He also designed the poster for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

To younger film directors, Saul Bass was a cinema legend with whom they longed to work. In 1987, he was persuaded to create the titles for James Brooks’ Broadcast News and then for Penny Marshall’s 1988 Big. In 1990, Bass found a new long term collaborator in Martin Scorsese who had grown up with – and idolised - his 1950s and 1960s titles.

After 1990’s Goodfellas and 1991’s Cape Fear, Bass created a sequence of blossoming rose petals for Scorcese’s 1993’s The Age of Innocence and a hauntingly macabre one of Robert De Niro falling through the sinister neons of the Las Vegas Strip for the director’s 1995’s Casino to symbolise his character’s descent into hell. Saul Bass died the next year. His New York Times obituary hailed him as "the minimalist auteur who put a jagged arm in motion in 1955 and created an entire film genre…and elevated it into an art."

Click here for here to see the offical website for Saul Bass

New York School

The first wave of modern design in America was imported by talented immigrants from Europe seeking to escape the political climate of totalitarianism. These individuals brought Americans a firsthand introduction to the European avant-garde.

The 1940s saw steps toward an original American approach to modernist design. While borrowing freely from the work of European designers, Americans added new forms and concepts to the tradition of graphic design.

European design was often theoretical and highly structured; American design was pragmatic, intuitive, and more informal in its approach to organizing space.

Just as Paris had been the most democratic city in the world, with great receptivity to new ideas and images during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, New York City assumed that role during the middle twentieth century. Perhaps these cultural incubators nurtured creativity because the prevailing climate enabled individuals to realize their potential--or, the existing climate may have been a magnet attracting individuals of great talent and potential. In either case, New York City became the cultural center of the world in the middle of the twentieth century, and graphic design innovation ranked high among its accomplishments.

Despite the European underpinnings, unique aspects of American culture and society dictated an original approach to modern design. The United States is an egalitarian society with capitalistic attitudes and values, limited artistic traditions before World War II, and a diverse ethnic heritage.

Emphasis was placed on the expression of ideas and an open, direct presentation of information. In this highly competitive society, novelty of technique and originality of concept were much prized, and designers sought simultaneously to solve communications problems and satisfy a need for personal expression.

This phase of American graphic design began with strong European roots during the 1940s, gained international prominence for its original viewpoints in the 1950s, and continued until the 1990s.

During the 1940s, only a moderate number of American magazines were designed well. These included Fortune, a business magazine whose art directors included Will Burtin and Leo Lionni; Vogue, where Alexander Liberman replaced Dr. Agha as art director in 1943; and Harper's Bazaar, where Alexey Brodovitch continued as art director until his retirement in 1958. One of Dr. Agha's assistants at Vogue during the 1930s, Cipe Pineles, made a major contribution to editorial design during the 1940s and 1950s, first as art director at Glamour, then at Seventeen, Charm, and Mademoiselle.

Pineles often commissioned illustrations from fine artists, resulting in editorial pages that broke with conventional imagery. Her publication designs were characterized by a lyrical appreciation of color, pattern, and form. Pineles became the first woman admitted to membership in the New York Art Director's Club, breaking the bastion of the male-dominated professional design societies.

In the late 1960s, broad factors at work in America ended the era of large pages, huge photographs, and design as a significant component of content. A two-decade period of ever-growing affluence was yielding to inflation and economic problems. Television eroded the magazine' advertising revenue and supplanted their traditional role of providing popular fiction entertainment.

At the same time, public concerns about the Vietnam War, environmental problems, the rights of minorities and women, and a host of other issues produced a need for different magazines. The public demanded a higher information content, and skyrocketing postal rates, paper shortages, and escalating paper and printing costs shrank the large-format periodicals.
Soothsayers predicted the death of the magazine as a communications form during the 1960s; however, a smaller-format breed of new periodicals emerged and thrived by addressing the interests of specialized audiences. Advertisers who wished to reach these audiences bought advertising space.

The new editorial climate, with more emphasis on content, longer text, and less opportunity for lavish visual treatment, necessitated a new approach to editorial design. Layout became more controlled, and the use of a consistent typographic format and grid--undoubtedly under the influence of the International Typographic Style--became the norm. A playful direction in the 1950s and 1960s among New York graphic designers involved figurative typography. This took many forms--letterforms became objects; objects became letterforms. Another approach to figurative typography used the visual properties of the words themselves, or their organization in the space, to express an idea.

Typography was sometimes scratched, torn, bent, or vibrated to express a concept or introduce the unexpected to the printed page.

Moreover, a new advertising developed during this time. Although the new advertising continued the essential orientation toward persuasive selling techniques and subjective emotional appeals, its methods were more honest, literate, and tasteful; advertising talked intelligently to consumers.

The New York School was born from an excitement about European modernism and fueled by economic and technological expansion; it became a dominant force in graphic design from the 1940s until the 1970s.

Many of its practitioners, young revolutionaries who altered the course of American visual communications in the 1940s and 1950s, continued to design in the 1990s, as their design practices reach the half-century mark.

You may download a self-running "projector" of a slide show Lecture, from the Parkland College of Graphic Design, in either Windows or Mac format (file sizes can be rather large, so a 56K or faster Internet connection is recommended). I highly recommend this option since you can view the slide shows as many times as you want without downloading it again. For Mac click here for Pc click here

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Swiss International Style - Josef Müller-Brockmann

Emerging as a leading theorist and practitioner of the movement. Josef Müller-Brockmann sought an absolute and universal graphic expression through an objective and impersonal presentation, communicating to the audience without the interference of the designer's subjective feelings or propagandistic techniques of persuasion.

A measure of his success can be gauged by observing the visual power and impact of his work. Designs made by Müller-Brockmann in the 1950s are as current and vital as they were a half-century ago and communicate their message with a remarkable intensity and clarity.

His photographic posters treat the image as an objective symbol, with neutral photographs gaining impact through scale and camera angle. In his celebrated concert posters, the language of constructivism creates a visual equivalent to the structural harmony of the music to be performed.

To see samples of is work click 1
and also here 2

Swiss International Style - Ernst Keller (1891-1968)

In 1918 Keller joined the Zürich Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Applied Art) to teach the advertising layout course and develop a professional course in design and typography. In teaching and in his own lettering, trademark, and poster design projects, Keller established a standard of excellence over the course of four decades. Rather than espousing a specific style, Keller believed the solution to the design problem should emerge from its content. Fittingly, the range of his work encompassed diverse solutions.



Internationale Ruder Regatta, 1968



Jelmoli Gut Und Bildig (Green), 1924



Jemoli Gut Und Billig (Red), 1924

Swiss International Style

Prehistory

The roots of the International Typographic Style grew from de Stijl, the Bauhaus, and the new typography of the 1920s and 1930s. Two Swiss designers who studied at the Bauhaus, Théo Ballmer (1902-65) and Max Bill (1908-94), are principal links between the earlier constructivist graphic design and the new movement that formed after World War II. Ballmer, who studied briefly at the Dessau Bauhaus under Klee, Gropius, and Meyer in the late 1920s, made an original application of de Stijl principles to graphic design, using an arithmetic grid of horizontal and vertical alignments. Max Bill's work encompassed painting, architecture, engineering, sculpture, and product and graphic design. After study at the Bauhaus with Gropius, Meyer, Moholy-Nagy, Albers, and Kandinsky from 1927 until 1929, Bill moved to Zürich. In 1931 he embraced the concepts of art concret and began to find his way clearly. Eleven months before Théo van Doesburg died in April 1930, he formulated a Manifesto of Art Concret, calling for a universal art of absolute clarity based on controlled arithmetical construction.

During the 1950s a design movement emerged from Switzerland and Germany that has been called Swiss design or, more appropriately, the International Typographic Style.

The objective clarity of this design movement won converts throughout the world. It remained a major force for over two decades, and its influence continues into the 1990s.

Detractors of the International Typographic Style complain that it is based on formula and results in a sameness of solution; advocates argue that the style's purity of means and legibility of communication enable the designer to achieve a timeless perfection of form, and they point to the inventive range of solutions by leading practitioners as evidence that neither formula nor sameness is intrinsic to the approach, except in the hands of lesser talents.

Characteristics

The visual characteristics of this international style include a visual unity of design achieved by asymmetrical organization of the design elements on a mathematically constructed grid; objective photography and copy that present visual and verbal information in a clear and factual manner, free from the exaggerated claims of much propaganda and commercial advertising; and the use of sans-serif typography expresses the spirit of a progressive age and that mathematical grids are the most legible and harmonious means for structuring information.

More important than the visual appearance of this work is the attitude developed by its early pioneers about their profession. These trailblazers defined design as a socially useful and important activity. Personal expression and eccentric solutions were rejected, while a more universal and scientific approach to design problem solving was embraced. In this paradigm, the designer defines his or her role not as an artist but as an objective conduit for spreading important information between components of society. Achieving clarity and order is the ideal.

The International Typographic Style had a major impact on postwar American design. A ripple of influence in the 1950s turned into a tidal wave during the 1960s and 1970s; it was rapidly embraced in corporate and institutional graphics during the 1960s and remained a prominent aspect of American design for over two decades. A noteworthy example was found in the graphic-design office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where a sustained level of quality and imagination was achieved. In the early 1950s MIT established a graphic-design program enabling all members of the university community to benefit from free, professional design assistance on their publications and publicity material. This was a very early recognition of the cultural and communicative value of design by an American university. MIT based its graphic-design program on a commitment to the grid and sans-serif typography. The staff was innovative in the use of designed letterforms and manipulated words as vehicles to express content. This approach evolved in the work of Jacqueline S. Casey (1927-91), director of the Design Services Office Ralph Coburn (b. 1923); and Dietmar Winkler (b. 1938), a German-trained designer who worked with Casey and Coburn from 1966 until 1971.

The Design Services Office produces publications and posters announcing concerts, speakers, seminars, exhibitions, and courses on the university campus. These frequently use solid color backgrounds. Many of their solutions are typographic, created on a drafting table for economical line reproduction. In a sense, letterforms become illustrations, for the design and arrangement of the letters in key words frequently become the dominant image. The rapid spread of the International Typographic Style resulted from the harmony and order of its methodology. The design movement that began in Switzerland and Germany, then outgrew its native boundaries to become truly international, has practitioners in many nations around the globe. This approach has special value in countries such as Canada and Switzerland where bilingual or trilingual communications are the norm. It is particularly useful when a diverse body of informational materials ranging from signage to publicity needs to be unified into a coherent body. A growing awareness of design as a logical tool for large organizations after World War II caused a growth in corporate design and visual-identification systems. During the middle 1960s the development of corporate design in the International Typographic Style were linked into one movement.


Click here to see sample of the Swiss International Style

You may download a self-running "projector" of a slide show Lecture, from the Parkland College of Graphic Design, in either Windows or Mac format (file sizes can be rather large, so a 56K or faster Internet connection is recommended). I highly recommend this option since you can view the slide shows as many times as you want without downloading it again. For Mac click here for Pc click here

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Art Deco - Biographies


Andre Leon Arbus

(1903 - 1969)

After graduating from the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Arbus joined his father's Toulouse cabinet making firm, which he later headed. Exhibiting in the Paris Salons from 1926 onwards, he moved to the capital in I930. Arbus was awarded the Prix Blumenthal in 1935 and exhibited at the great International Exhibitions in Brussels (1935), Paris(1937) and New York (1939), Although he ended the firm's production of Furniture in eighteenth century styles, his own designs were very much inspired by the more stylized classicism of the French Empire He rejected the rhetoric of the UAM, continuing his workshop system and incorporating

Norman Bel Geddes

(1893 - 1958)

After studying briefly at the Art Institute of Chicago, Bel Geddes worked in a Chicago advertising agency designing posters for General Motors and Packard. In 1918 he began a successful career as a stage set designer before turning to industrial design in 1927. Despite commissions for the Toledo Scale Co. (1929), and the Standard Gas Equipment Corp. (1932). it was as polemicist of Modernity that Bel Geddes gained greatest recognition. His book Horizons (1932) was a manifesto for Modern streamlining which promoted a series of futuristic designs for buildings and transport systems. Bel Geddes' positivist vision of a streamlined future reached its apogee with his' futurama '' Metropolis of Tomorrow' for the General Motors Highways and Horizons Pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair.
Pierre Chareau

(1883 - 1950)

Born in Bordeaux, Chareau first exhibited at the Salon d' Automne (in 1914. Trained as an architect, he exhibited in the 1925 Paris Exposition as both an architect and a decorator. The bold curves and luxurious contrasting of exotic woods in his earlier furniture gave way in the later 1920s to a more functionalist inspired aesthetic. As a founder member of the UAM, Chareau's belief in the relationship between form and function was reaffirmed, and from 1932 to 1938 he undertook detailed research into the development of mobile room partitions. Chareau received commissions to design interiors from, among others, Mallet-Stevens, and his most celebrated architectural work was his 1931 collaboration with the Dutch architect Bijvoet on the Mason deVerre, famed for its revolutionary use of glass brick walls and mobile room partitions.

Serge Chermayeff

(b. 1900)

Born in the Caucasus, Chermayeff was educated in England. His career from 1924 until his emigration to America in 1939 illustrates the gradual hardening of Modernist attitudes in Britain in the 1930s. Nevertheless, Chermayeff's work always retained a Iyrical quality which set it apart from many of his less inspired contemporaries. From 1921 to 1927, Chermayeff was chief designer to the London decorating firm F. Williams Ltd before progressing to be director of Waring & Gillows's 'Modern Art Studio', for which he designed luxurious modernistic furniture. He joined the Modernist group MARS in the early 1930s, and worked with the German emigre Erich Mendelsohn, with whom he designed the celebrated De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill on Sea, Sussex. His pioneering designs for the furniture manufacturer PEL introduced the use of tubular steel in Britain. During the same period Chermayeff also designed radio cabinets for Ecko

Clarice Cliff

(1899 - 1972)

Cliff began her career as an enameller at the age of thirteen and by 1916 her long standing collaboration with A.J.Wilkinson Ltd had begun. After studying at the RCA in London, in 1927 she returned to Wilkinsons, who introduced her celebrated 'Bizzare' wares in 1929. At first, the Bizzare line consisted of Cliff's colourful painting on standard forms, though, by the early 1930s, new geometric forms were evolved to accommodate her innovative style. She produced a number of other lines for Wilkinsons in the 1935: however, after the Bizzare wares were discontinued in 1941 she became involved in Wilkinsons' administration.

Susie (Susan Vera) Cooper
Despite early ambitions to become a fashion designer, Cooper emerged as one of the most important ceramic designers and producers of the century. Her interest in ceramics was awakened in l922 and she initially worked with A. E. Gray & Co. In 1929 she established her own atelier, and her factory produced breakfast sets, tea sets and dinner ware for a largely middle-class market. Her designs are reported to have caused a sensation at the 1922 British Industries Fair where she sold a triangular lamp base, decorated with a clown to the Royal family.

Michel die Klerk

(1884 - 1923)

After collaborating with J.M. van der Mey and Piet Kramer on the Scheepvaarthuis in Amsterdam, de Klerk went on to establish himself as perhaps the most prominent architect of the Amsterdam School. In his celebrated housing schemes such as Het Scheep in Amsterdam, de KIerk married an adventurous plasticity and strong sense of geometry with an appreciation of traditional Dutch forms and shapes. Unlike his architecture, de Klerk's furniture was luxurious and expensive, and of 200 pieces made, only about 25 are known to survive. A suite designed in 1916 was exhibited posthumously at the 1925 Paris Exposition. De Klerk's importance to contemporary design was reflected in the fact that the Dutch magazine Wendingen devoted six special issues to his work.

Sonia Delaunay

(1885 - 1979)

Born in Ukraine, Sonia Delaunay (nee Stern, Terk) trained as a painter before moving to Paris in 1905 and she married the painter Robert Delaunay (1885-1941) in 1910. As early as 1912 Sonia was designing embroidery and bookbindings alongside her abstract paintings, and after the loss ot her private income in 1917 (as a result of the Russian Revolution) she became more preoccupied with her design work. After spending time in Madrid during the First World War, she opened her Atelier Simultane in Paris, designing fashion, textiles and interiors. At the 1925 Paris Exposition she ran the Boutique Simultanee where she achieved fame as a designer of modern fashions. In the 1930's the Delaunays concentrated on public art and advertising, and at the 1937 Paris Exposition they designed a series of large murals

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Donald Deskey

(1894 - 1989)

Deskey was unusual among the leading proponents of Art Deco design in America in that he was actually born there rather than arriving as an emigre from Europe. A visit to Paris in 1925 led Deskey to focus on interior and furniture design. His early successes were designs for screens, and in 1927 he entered into partnership with Phillip Vollmer, creating the decorating firm Deskey - Vollmer Inc. Working for wealthy private clients in the 1920's Deskey became more interested in designs for mass production in the 1930s. Archives suggest that some 400 designs for furniture, rugs and textiles by Deskey were put into production.

Djo Bourgeois

(1898 -1937)

Djo Bourgeois was part of the youngest generation of French Art Deco designers who were subsequently attracted to the ethics and aesthetics of Modernism towards the end of the 1920s. Born in Bezons (Seine et Oise), Djo Bourgeois graduated from the Ecole Speciale d'Architecture in 1922. In 1923 he joined Le Studium Louvre and began exhibiting at the Salon. Le Studium Louvre saw his adventurously Modern designs as providing an opportunity to compete with the work of Charlotte Perriand and Mallet-Stevens. At first Djo Bourgeois preferred lacquered wood and glass, but soon discovered steel, aluminium and concrete. He left Le Studium Louvre in 1929. His last exhibit before his death was a dining room with moveable partitions at the 1936 Salon.

Maurice Dufrene

(1876 - 1955)

A founder member of the Societe des Artistes Decorateurs, Dufrene with Leon Jallot, was among the group of French designers which became known as the Constructeurs, before the First World War. Dufrene had worked on Meier-Graefe's 'La Maison Moderne' around 1900 designing in the Art Nouveau style. By 1910, his work adapted more simplified forms using more substantial materials and construction. Dufrene's open acceptance of mass production in the 1920s, when he became the artistic director of the studio La Maitrise led to a prolific output. At the 1925 Paris Exposition, as well as the La Maitrise pavilion, Dufrene designed the 'petit salon' in the 'Ambassade Francaise', a boutique for the furrier Jungman, and the row of shoes on the Pont Alexandre Ill. Dufrene's stylistic development continued into the 1930s when he experimented with steel and glass.
Jean Dunand

(1877 - 1942)

Although he began his career as a sculptor and producer of decorative objects, Dunand became interested in lacquer from 1909 and it is for his lacquered panels, furniture and interiors that he is best remembered. He exhibited throughout the interwar years, co-designing the smoking room of the Ambassade Francaise at the 1925 Paris Exposition. By 1921 he was producing and exhibiting large pieces of lacquer furniture, Dunand contributed to the three great French ocean liners of the period, the lle de France ( 1928), the Atlantique (1931) and the Normandie ( 1935).


Paul Follot

(1877 - 1941)

Like Dufrene Follot was part of the older generation of Art Deco designers who had developed their style from Art Nouveau. Follot worked at La Maison Moderne between 1901 and 1903. He became independent in 1904, designing furniture, lighting, carpets, clocks and jewellery. His style combined simplified traditionally inspired forms with rich decoration, and his work before the First World War represented an exercise in modern decoration which provided a blueprint for much of the more traditional French Art Deco which reached its apex at the 1925 Paris Exposition, to which Follot made a large contribution. In 1923 Follot became director of design at the Pomone studios of Au Bon Marche before moving to Waring and Gillow's Paris office in 1928 where he worked with Serge Chermayeff. After 1931 Follot returned to independent practice and in 1935 he received a commission for the ocean liner Normandie as well as exhibiting at the Brussels Exposition.


Paul Theodore Frankl

(1886 - 1962)

Born in Prague, Frankl together with his fellow European Joseph Urban, was one of the pioneering Modern designers working in America before 1925, who laid the foundations of the American tradition of modern decoration. After spending some time in Berlin and Copenhagen, Frankl left for America in 1914 and set up in business in New York. Although at first describing himself as an architect, in 1922 he opened a gallery at 4e, 48th Street which sold a variety of his designs for furniture, as well as modern textiles and wallpapers imported from Europe, His influence as a designer was compounded by his polemical pro-Modern publications: New Dimensions, Form and Re-Form, Machine Age Leisure, Spaces for Living, and Survey of American Textiles. In 1926 he introduced his celebrated skyscraper furniture, before turning to metal furnishings in the 1930s.

Eric Gill

(1882 - 1940)

Despite a diverse body of work, Gill is best remembered for his sculpture and his typography. His sans serif typeface, designed in 1928 for the Monotype Corporation, became synonymous with Modern graphic design, ironically so given that Gill's work and philosophy was based on craft and catholicism. Gill's stylized sculpture was also chosen to adorn another monument to the modern age, BBC Broadcasting House in Portland Place, London (1929 - 31). In 1937 Gill was elected associate of the Royal Academy and awarded honorary apprenticeship of the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

Josef Gocar

(1880 - 1945)

Gocar was a leading exponent of Czech cubist design in the 1910s, co founding the Prague Artistic Workshops in 1912, He had trained at the School of Decorative Arts in Prague between 1906 and 1908 after which he worked for Jan Kotera, 'the founder of modern Czech architecture'. Between 1922 and 1939, Gocar was Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts and in 1925 he was awarded the Grand Prix for the design of the Czechoslovak Pavilion at the Paris Exposition. Gocar's furniture is among the most exciting and original of the period, with a literal attempt to translate the idea of cubism into three dimensions at its heart.
Eileen Gray

(1879 - 1976)

From County Wexford, Ireland Eileen Gray was born into an aristocratic family. She entered the Slade School of Art in London in 1898 and moved to Paris in 1902 where she spent the rest of her life, interrupted only by the two world wars. She was celebrated for her exotic use of lacquer, the technique of which she had learned from Sougaware, a Japanese master. Although Gray did not exhibit consistently at the Salons, she ran her own establishment, the jean Desert Gallery from 1922 until 1930. Gray's furniture has been characterized as 'luxurious and theatrical' and the gallery never achieved commercial success, although it was supported by sales of her popular carpets. Between 1927 and 1934 she undertook three architectural projects, two villas for herself and a studio for Badovici in Paris.
Oliver Hill

(1887 -1968)

Hill attended evening classes at the Architectural Association, London. After the First World War he returned to practice becoming a fashionable society architect working predominantly in the neo Georgian and neo vernacular styles. After 1930 Hill designed a number of buildings in the modern style, although his ambiguous relationship with the more doctrinaire elements in the Modern Movement is embodied in his use of decoration. While Joldwynds (1933) and his scheme for Frinton (1933) appear to belong firmly to the Modern Movement, at the Midland Hotel, Morecambe (1934), he used Erie Gill and Erie Ravilious for decorative assistance. Hill also designed the British Pavilion for the Exposition Internationale in Paris, 1937.
Josef Hoffman

(1870 - 1956)

In 1903 Hoffmann co founded the Wiener Werkstatte, and his stewardship of the workshop lasted until 1931. Hoffmann studied under Otto Wagner at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and had also been a founding member of the Vienna Secession in 1897. His influence on the Wiener Werkstatte was all pervasive. He designed its most celebrated architectural achievements, the Purkersdorf Sanatorium (1902 - 3) and the Palais Stoclet in Brussels (1909 - 1911), as well as designing for all the branches of the decorative arts. The strict grid pattern which formed the basis to many of his designs, as well as being a favoured decorative motif, earned him the nick-name 'Quadrutl H Hoffmann’ (Little Square Hoffmann) His work for the Wiener Werkstatte was a pivotal element in the development of a European tradition of decorative modern design, to which the Parisian Art Deco of the 1920s provided a continuation.
Charles Hoiden

(1875 - 1960)

The architecture of Charles Hoiden exemplifies the pragmatic compromise that was British Art Deco. Included in Hoiden's early career was a spell as an assistant to C. R. Ashbee. After the First World War he became a member of the Design in Industries Association, through which he met Frank Pick who commissioned him to build new facades for existing London Underground stations and for new stations on the extended Northern Line. He travelled with Pick throughout Northern Europe and his work on the new stations on the Piccadilly Line established a brick-built, modern house style for the Underground which echoed the work of architects in Holland such as Dudok. From 1931, Holden was involved in the scheme to centralize London University, the most prominent monument of which is the University's Senate House in Bloomsbury.

Raymond Hood

(1881 - 1934)

Educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, the early years of Hood's architectural career were spent in obscurity. He was catapulted to fame in 1922 when, together with John Mead Howells, he won the competition to design the Chicago Tribune Tower. Despite the fact that the building was neo-Gothic rather than Art Deco, his remaining twelve years of practice included work on some of the most significant American buildings of the age: the American Radiator Building in New York (1925), which combined a more subdued Gothic with a more confident modernity; the Rockefeller building (1931), which he co-designed and remains an icon of Art Deco, and the McGraw Hill Building with its terracotta exterior. His last commission was to design the Electricity Building at the 1933 Century of Progress exhibition in Chicago.

Pavel Janak

(1882 - 1956)

After studying under Otto Wagner at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna ( 1906 - 8), Janak returned to his native Prague, where he was to design some of the most remarkable furniture and ceramics of the Czech cubist movement. In 1908, he co-founded the Artel Cooperative, which proved so crucial to the realisation of many of the cubists' designs. Janak joined the Group of Plastic Artists in 1911 and was one of the editors of Umelecky Mesicnik as well as being a founder member of the Prague Artistic Workshops in 1912.

Betty Joel

(1894 - 1985)

Born Mary Steward Lockhart in Hong Kong, Betty ]oel was educated in England and met David Joel while he was in the navy serving in the Far East. They married in 1918 and, although neither had any formal design training, they began manufacturing furniture under the name Betty Joel Ltd. Early work was in a modernized Arts and Crafts idiom, however, by the late 1920's and early 1930’s French Art Deco influences were clear. Betty ]oel's London showroom was first at 177 Sloane Street and then 25 Knightsbridge. The firm's clients were wide ranging, both corporate and private. Furniture was manufactured for the Savoy and St Jame's Palace hotels and for many of H.S. Goodhart Rendel's projects, including Hays Wharf. Her more celebrated private clients included Lord Louis Mountbatten and the then Duchess of York.

Francis Jourdain

(1876 - 1958)

One of the founders of the UAM, Jourdain had always held an ambivalent attitude towards decoration. His relatively austere, angular work exhibited at the Salon d'Automne in 1902 had effectively renounced the Art Nouveau style of his contemporaries. For clients demanding luxury, his concession might be the use of a rich veneer. As a result of his sparse style, many of his early commissions were for public spaces rather than private interiors. Jourdain exhibited at the 1925 Paris Exposition and from then onwards he began to use steel, aluminium and lacquer. Jourdain retired in 1939 in order to spend more time writing.

Ely Jacques Kahn

(1884 - 1972)

After graduating from the Architecture School of Columbia University in 1907, Kahn spent four years in Paris studying at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. He became a partner in the firm Buchman & Fox, which he eventually dominated, and was thus well placed to play an influential role on the New York architectural scene between 1925 and 1930. As well as exhibiting in The Architect and the Industrial Arts at the Metropolitan Museum in 1929, Kahn was responsible for some of the great decorative buildings of the 1920s, such as 261 Fifth Avenue and 2 Park Avenue with its brightly coloured terracotta exterior by L.V. Solovon.

Piet Kramer

(1881 - 1961)

Kramer met Michel de Klerk while working in the office of the Amsterdam architect Eduard Cuypers. He collaborated with J.M van der Mey, another leading figure of the Amsterdam School, of the Scheepvaarthuis in Amsterdam. Kramer took part in five of the Amsterdam social housing projects which characterized the work of the school in the years 1915 - 25, This use of brickwork to carry the abstract geometric decoration on the facades of his buildings proved an antecedent to some of the more flamboyant decorative exercises in Art Deco architecture, while his use of brick also provided inspiration for the more pragmatic approach of the suburban Art Deco of Britain. Kramer was also a notable furniture designer.

Rene Jules Lalique

(1860 - 1945)

Lalique's professional career, first as a goldsmith and then, more famously, as a glassmaker, spanned both the Art Nouveau and the Art Deco eras. Lalique rented his first glassworks in 1909, at Combs-la-ville near Fontainebleau. Initially the factory produced only perfume bottles, but by the 1920s Lalique began to manufacture other works in glass such as jewellery, mirrors, lamps, chandeliers and tableware. When he exhibited at Paris in 1925, his celebrated glass fountain provided both a centrepiece for the Perfume Pavilion as well as a defining symbol of French Art Deco of the 1920s. By the 1930s, Lalique's innovation was challenged by other makers such as Sabino, although, despite the fact that he was in his seventies, Lalique continued his stewardship of the firm which, by this time, had grown to employ 600 people.

Le Corbusier

(1887 - 1965)

Born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Le Corbusier worked under his real name, Charles-Eduard Jeanneret until the early 1920s. In 1907 he travelled Europe, meeting Josef Hoffmann in Vienna. Between 1908 and 1909 he worked for the Paris architect Auguste Perret, and in 1910 -11 in the Berlin office of Peter Behrens. In 1911, the publication in France of his Etude sur le Mouvement d'art decoratif en Allemagne, associated Jeanneret's name with debate about the role of national identity and the decorative arts in France. Indeed it was as a decorator that Jeanneret became known in the Parisian art world, working with such designers as Andre Groult and Paul Poiret. However, through his involvement with the Purist painter Amedee Ozenfant, Jeanneret by now known as Le Corbusier, developed the anti decorative theory for which he became famous. His Pavilion de L'Espirit Nouveau at the Paris Exposition in 1925 became an icon of the burgeoning Modern Movement, and his books The Decorative Art of Today and Towards A New Architecture showed that his ability as a polemicist matched his skill as a designer. A founder member of the UAM, Le Corbusier is often portrayed as representing the antithesis of Art Deco (his pavilion was marginalized at the 1925 exhibition), yet his work before 1920 and the influence of the Modernist aesthetic on the development of Art Deco in both Europe and America from the late 1920s make him an important figure in the history of the style.

Raymond Loewy

(1893 - 1986)

Loewy studied electrical engineering in his native France before emigrating to America after serving in the First World War. Following a brief spell as window dresser at Macy's, he worked as a fashion illustrator on Harpers Bazaar. He recognised the potential of applying the principles of commercial art to the actual products of industry and in 1929 was commissioned to modernize the Gestetner mimeograph machine. In 1930 he set up his own design consultancy and in 1935 he revamped the Sears Roebuck refrigerator, signing the 'Coldspot', and in doing so brought the streamlined, white curves of the moderne style into kitchens across America. He also published influential futuristic designs for taxis, cars and trains as well as designing locomotives for the Pennsylvanian Railroad and the distinctive Greyhound Coach ( 1940).

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

(1868 - 1928)

Apprenticed in his native Glasgow to the architect John Hutchinson between 1884 and 1889, Mackintosh travelled widely in Europe in the 1890s. He designed posters from the mid 1890s, and also exhibited at the 1896 Arts and Crafts exhibition. In 1897 Mackintosh began the first phase of his work on the Glasgow School of Art, which he also extended in 1907. Other work in Scotland included the Willow Tea Rooms (1903) and Hill House (1904). Despite international acclaim, Mackintosh never achieved commercial success. He left Glasgow in 1914, and between 1915 and 1920 he carried out work for the industrialist W.J. Bassett-Lowke, most notably at 78 Derngate, Northampton. After travelling France in the mid 1920s, Mackintosh died of cancer in London in 1928.

Robert Mallet Stevens

(1886 - 1945)

Trained at the Ecole Speciale d'Architecture (1905 - 10), Mallet Stevens built little until after the First World War. His work at the 1925 Paris Exposition included the cubist concrete trees by the Martel Brothers in his Winter Garden and the distinctive tower for his 'Pavillon du Tourism', both of which established him as the archetypal maverick Modernist, setting an international mould for Art Deco architects of the 1920s and 1930s. His most celebrated commissions were the Villa for the Viscount de Noailles in Hyeres (1923 - 5), the Rue Mallet-Stevens in Auteuil ( 1926 - 7) and the Casino at Saint Jean-de-luz (1928), His disregard for the social dimension of Modernism did not prevent him assuming the presidency of the UAM in 1930, and although he undertook commissions at the 1935 Brussels exhibition and the 1937 Paris Exposition Universalles, his work never eclipsed the triumphs of the 1920s.

Koloman Moser

(1868 - 1918)

Studying under Otto Wagner at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Moser, together with Hoffmann was a founder of both the Secession and the Wiener Werkstatte. Although trained as a painter, by the late 1890s, Moser was active in the decorative arts winning a prize at the Paris Exposition Universalle in 1900. His major contribution to the Werkstatte came in his design of the interiors of Hoffmann's Purkersdorf Sanatorium in 1905. It was Moser's departure in 1908 which heralded a move away from the strict geometry of the Werkstatte's early and most influential work.

Dagobert Peche

(1887 - 1923)

Berta Zuckerkandl described Peche as, 'the greatest genius of ornament that Austria has possessed since the Baroque'. Peche trained at the technical college in Vienna and at the Academy of Fine Arts from 1908 to 1911. He joined the Werkstatte in 1915, and his work characterized, and indeed influenced the shift towards a more whimsical, folk inspired aesthetic in the workshop. Peche designed the Wiener Werkstatte's Zurich branch, where he was based from 1917 to 1918. Although Peche's work was not confined to any one branch of the applied arts, it is for his delightfully ornamented small objects that he is best remembered. His ornamental objects in chased silver from the earlier 1920s illustrate how far the Werkstatte had moved from Moser's geometry in the years since his departure.

Paul Poiret

(1879 - 1944)

The son of a Parisian shopkeeper, Poiret became a dress designer in 1896 after meeting Jacques Doucet. In 1910 he visited Vienna, met Josef Hoffmann and took inspiration from the textile and fashion designs of the Wiener Werkstatte. He founded his Atelier Martine in 1911 and his Maison Martine on Fauborg Saint-Honore sold rugs, carpets and wallpapers. Together with his long-term collaborator, the painter Raoul Duty, Poiret began a studio for printing textiles, La Petite Usine. In 1908 and 1911 Poiret published volumes of his designs, which was in itself an innovative step, and as a result he was received warmly when he visited America in 1913. Although he continued work in the 1920s and 1930s, his contribution to the 1925 Paris Exposition, three decorated barges, brought Poiret to the edge of financial ruin.

Gio Ponti

(1891 - 1979)

After studying architecture at the Polytechnic in Milan (1918 - 21), Ponti became a designer for Richard Ginori the Doccia ceramics firm. His work, often in a stylized and humorous classical idiom, gained him the Grand Prix at the 1925 Paris Exposition. As a result of the exposure he received at Paris, he was asked to design a range of cutlery for Christofle and a villa for the firm's chairman. In 1927 he left Ginori to set up an architectural practice with Emilio Lancia, and a year later he became the founder editor of Domus a journal which promoted the work and ideas of the Novecento movemert, The Novecento, which Ponti founded together with other architects such as Giovanni Muzio, combined tradition, decoration and a striking modernity providing a starting point for Italian designers who, keen to absorb what they had seen in Paris, were inspired to produce decorative and modern pieces.
Jean Puiforcat

(1897- 1945)

Puiforcat joined the family firm of silversmiths while he was studying sculpture with Louis-Aime Lejeure. After setting up his own workshop in 1922, Puiforcat's work came to embody the simple geometric wing of the Art Deco idiom. Puiforcat's objects relied on a purity of line and mathematical proportions as opposed to applied decoration. In 1929 he was a founding member of the UAM; however, despite his aesthetic similarities with the Modern Movement, his refusal to compromise in his use of silver ensured Puiforcat maintained his status as a designer of luxury items. Indeed in 1934 his work took a new direction when he began to produce liturgical objects for the Catholic Church. By 1937 he had become disillusioned with the UAM, and he left France at the beginning of the Second World War, returning shortly before his death In 1945.
Jacques Emile Ruhlmann

(1879 - 1933)

In 1900 Ruhlmann joined his father's decorating business and by 1903 he was producing his first furniture designs, After his father's death in 1907, he began to display his work at the Paris Salons, his first pieces of furniture being exhibited In 1913. Escaping military service for medical reasons, Ruhlmann spent the war refining his classically inspired style before entering into partnership with Pierre Laurent in 1919. Together their business expanded, Laurent's decorating work providing a secure base for Ruhlmann's less profitable luxury furniture. Characterized by its exotic use of veneers and perfectly proportioned forms, Ruhlmann's furniture remains for many the apogee of French Art Deco, a sentiment reflected in the soaring prices paid at auction for his pieces today. Ruhlmann's most celebrated ensembles were for his 'Hotel du Collectionneur' at the 1925 Paris Exposition and his office for Marshall Lyautey at the 1931 Exposition Coloniale
Sue et Mare

Louis Sue ( 1875 - 1968)

Andre Mare (1887 -1932)

Andre Mare was an artist, and studied at the Academie Julian Louis Sue also trained as a painter, but turned to interior design as early as 1905. This lack of a design or craft training led both Sue and Mare to be grouped with the Coloristes in Paris before the First World War. Mare was involved with Duchamp Villon's Maison Cubiste in 1912, while Sue worked with Poiret until the founding of La Maison Martine in 1912. In the same year, Sue set up his own decorating firm, L'atelier Francais, and began his association with Mare in 1914. This association became a partnership in 1919 with the foundation of La Compagnie des Arts Francais which lasted until 1928. Sue et Mare worked across the spectrum of the decorative arts from wallpapers to furniture. Their furniture used exotic woods and was clearly inspired by traditional French styles. At the 1925 Paris Exposition their pavilion, Un Musee d'Art Contemporian, rivalled Ruhlmann's and the firm also exhibited furniture in the Ambassade Francaise and the Perfums d'Orsay boutique among other pavilions. The partnership ended in 1928 and Sue continued work in France throughout the 1930s.

Waiter Dorwin Teague

(1883 - 1960)

After moving to New York in 1902, Teague joined the advertising agency Calins and Horden in 1908. By 1927 he was a freelance artist and typography expert, however, he began to apply this advertising expertise to the products of the manufacturing Industry. His clients included Kodak, Westing House and Steinway and Sons. Teague did much to bring the aesthetic of streamlining to everyday American life through products such as the Bantam Special Camera for Kodak. His pioneering system designs for Texaco, which were used to build over 10,000 roadside petrol and service stations in the 1930s, did much to ensure that the streamlined moderne style became the architectural idiom of the highway. At the 1939 World's Fair, Teague carried out commissions for Ford, Kodak and the National Cash Register Co. among others.

Joseph Urban

(1872 - 1933)

Born in Vienna, Urban studied at the Imperial and Royal Academy of Fine Arts and the Polytechnium, and first visited the USA in 1901 to prepare his designs for the Austrian Pavilion at the forthcoming St Louis Exposition. In 1911 he settled in the US, and in doing so provided a vital link between the Viennese tradition of modern decoration, and the evolving idiom of American Art Deco. He exhibited at the 1929 Metropolitan Museum show 'the Architect and the Industrial Arts'. Urban was celebrated for his theatre designs, most famously his building for Ziegfeld's troupe for which he also designed most of its Broadway shows. He ran his own 'Decorative and Scenic Studio' in New York, as well as opening the Wiener Werkstatte's New York Branch on Fifth Avenue in 1922, for which he designed the interiors and some of the furniture. Urban also started an artists' fund to support the Werkstatte's activities. His archives at Columbia University contain details of a wide variety of furnishings that he designed for hotels and restaurants in New York and the Midwest.

Ralph T. Walker

(1889 - 1973)

Walker trained at the Massachusetts institute of Technology (1909 - 11), and after a series of apprenticeships he joined the New York architects McKenzIe, Voorhees & Gmelin in 1919. Walker became a partner in 1926, and as Voorhees, Gmelin & Walker, the firm were responsible for some of the most decoratively adventurous skyscrapers of the 1920s, including the Barclay-Vesey Telephone Building (1923 - 6) and the Western Union Building (1928 - 9). After becoming Voorhees, Walker Foley & Smith in 1939, the firm undertook several commissions to design buildings for the 1939 New York World's Fair.

Thomas Wallis

(1873 - 1953)

Perhaps the most decoratively adventurous inter war British architect, Wallis became a consultant to Kahncrete, an American engineering company specializing In reinforced concrete industrial buildings. In 1917 he set up practice as Wallis Gilbert and Partners specializing in industrial buildings, often for American clients. The firm was responsible for many of the factories in west London, where the stylized facade ornament may be atypical, but has made them icons of British Art Deco. The firm's most distinctive work included the Firestone Factory ( 1929) and the Pyrene Factory ( 1930), both in Brentford, the AIbion Car Works and India Tyre and Rubber Co., Glasgow (1930), the Hoover Factory in Perivale (1932) and London's Victoria Coach Station (1932).

Kem (Karl Emanual Martin) Weber

( 1889 -)

Weber was born in Berlin and studied under Bruno Paul between 1908 and 1910. Finding himself stranded in San Francisco at the outbreak of war In 1914, he eventually joined the Los Angeles design studio Baker Bros. where he became director. After visiting Paris in 1925, he became committed to Modern design, and his subsequent repertoire of furniture mirrors the evolution of American Art Deco from the 'zig zag' style of the late 1920s to the streamlined moderne aesthetic of the 1930s. He was one of the few American designers to contribute to Macy's first International Exposition of Arts and Trades. In the 1930s Weber developed furniture in plywood, a medium ideal the streamlined style. His most famous work was his 1935 design for an airplane chair for the Airline Chair Co. in Los Angeles, which has been described 'the most striking interpretation of the streamline ethic to emerge in the USA.

Frank Lloyd Wright

(1867 - 1956)

Perhaps America's most influence twentieth-century architect and design theorist, Wright was instrumental fashioning a specifically American tradition of modern decoration upon which American Art Deco was built. This is particularly true of the horizontal style of his domestic architecture of the first two decades of the century inspired by both European Modernists and the practitioners of the moderne America. Wright had received architectural education in the Chicago office of Louis Sullivan, a pioneering theorist of functionalism. Between 1901 - 13 Wright designed a series 'Prairie Houses', while his Unity Temple of 1906 stands as one of the pioneering examples of Modern American decoration. After visiting Japan several times after 1905, Wright designed Midway Gardens in Chicago (1913 - 14) which although later demolished marked a move towards a greater decorative emphasis in his work, typified by the Imperial Hotel In Tokyo (1919 - 21) and the Barnsdall House in Los Angeles (1916 - 22). Although Wright remained intellectually aloof from what became known as Art Deco, he shared its roots in Vienna and was living proof that America did have a tradition of Modern decoration before 1925.