Sometimes a graphic artist has a creative reason (perhaps more than one) to stay small. There may be a clutch of motives for putting tableau-scale poster work aside; and in this report I’d like to put them in play, because they come to the heart of the artistic payoff of graphic design, particularly that of hands-on work far more common years ago.
More often than not, the desire to produce a less popular attraction (be it about volume, context or both) will be shelved in favor of the urgent matter of making a living. (A remarkable number of vintage posterists were adept at fashion, industrial and spectacle design, therewith adding to the distance from a cherished run of diminutive ephemera.)
Once in a while, however, a client would, perhaps sheepishly, wonder if the artist’s skill would not mind doing something quiet and subtle and not very lucrative, only to discover that the commission comes as a welcome little feast of challenges!
In 1938, that deco Lautrec, A.M. Cassandre, was commissioned to produce a magazine ad for a brand of pineapple juice. In response he created a fusion of Cubist and Surrealist bolts to bring into the picture a singularity unfurling within the rather prosaic vehicle of the mass-circulation journal and the reader more likely looking for diversion than the sizzling divine! But there it is, take it (wisely) or leave it (unwisely)! Continue reading