When it comes to vintage magazine graphics, we all tend to focus on the often breathtaking covers, and perhaps one or two ads and article illustrations that really pop. In conveying to you what amazing value inheres in such items (so generally seen to be tiny, in light of the bigger scheme of poster art), today we’ll concentrate on simply one issue of Fortune Magazine (March 1937) and unfold its cornucopia of design gems.
I’ve chosen that particular issue of Fortune because it presents a special eclipsing of the less conspicuous works, namely, the presence of a glorious cover and four full-page lithographs (one shown above) by the design giant, A. M. Cassandre. These graphics are, indeed exceptional examples of surrealistic modernism and stand as an unforgettable devotion to the mysteries and dangers of serious reflection (Cassandre having, eventually, lost his confidence and committed suicide.) We should note that, in the “Teleflowers” piece, the technology of telephone communications is a practical phenomenon derived from mainstream science. All of the less famous designers we’ll see here likewise bend to the task of evoking the compelling mystery of such routine manufactures. (The quite dazzling promotion at the top of our story here has to do with the factor of aluminum paint countering corrosion.)
I’m particularly struck by the fantastic color choices going into this composition, endowing its batteries promotion with memorable panache. And how about the quote from Shakespeare to further facilitate this being a product that can get under your skin?
An ad for valves going into airplane production. And it gives us a beautifully observed design concerning a rapidly changing world. “Listen, Son, is that a plane in such weather as this?”/ “Sure, Dad, it’s 8:40… he’s always on time.”
For a Lincoln Le Baron Convertible Sedan, a display of pristine lines and earth tones somehow especially redolent of a Depression-Era Dream to dispel the doldrums.
There’s so much more to this book than its cover!
For our complete Fortune collection, please visit: