THE GOLDEN, EDGY FASCINATION OF FORTUNE MAGAZINE, JUNE, 1933

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Naysayers notwithstanding, this is, for me, an irresistible graphic design. It graces the back cover of an issue of lithographically and journalistically advanced Fortune Magazine, and was published 81 years ago.

First a concept: it takes guts for a bride to admit  she’s more married to her cigarettes than to the guy she’s marrying later that day. Note that it’s the “I” not the “do” that’s emphasized. The pitch here is to the affluent, well-educated and very independent readership of a publication aimed at those ardently committed to private enterprise and self-promotion. Thus, in the course of selling Lucky Strike smokes, it offers a whole rationale for free-wheeling risk.

The modelling and color choice are striking (no pun intended). Her little, “It’s toasted” is both flip and sexy.

 

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“One bride=$10,000 worth of business to retail stores.” Perhaps a bit lax in the poetry factor; but the mercenary angle—one of the purveyors offers (from $250-$2000 per bride) “tailored negligees for breakfast cooking…”—is not without its own strange glow.

 

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Fortune June 1933; Paolo Garretto; 13 3/4″ x 11″; A-,P; complete magazine

It’s the marrying month of June, but someone has to be out making a buck. This brilliant art deco cover (replete with a paper stock no original vintage poster could dream of using), by Paolo Garretto, always thrills us in its range of poetry and prose.

 

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All the items in this blog come from that single issue of Fortune mentioned above. So, as if we haven’t been rewarded richly already, here’s a series of photos regarding the then-brand-new Cincinnati train station. Shown above, designer, Winold Reiss’ mural about the march of civilization, overlooking interior design in aid of smooth sailing on machine-age tracks.

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A waiting room, so classy you might be tempted to miss your train and just keep gazing!

 

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Speaks for itself!

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Close-ups of what Cincinnati is good for.

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The French Line of cruise ships entices the reader to polish her or his chic.

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Cool, classic power in motion.

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Budding oligarchs, headed for the Chicago World’s Fair. The ad is for a brand of gas. But its Depression-era spiel is intriguing. “This year you need a real vacation. You need to breathe fresh air, see new places, and wash away your worries with comfortable, refreshing travel.”The editorial content of this issue of Fortune includes fascinating accounts of Manhattan’s speakeasies, Canadian gold mines and Southern cotton plantations.

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Let’s close with a stunning lithographic bang! It’s only too easy to laugh at the boosterism in Fortune. But don’t forget its heartfelt resolve and impressive muscle, brilliantly exuded by this advertising design.

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Let’s close again, because you have to see this design leadoff for the Speakeasy article. The great pochoir and fashion designer, Pierre Brissaud, was commissioned by Fortune; and he gave them their money’s-worth and more!

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