Virtuoso artists tend to leave their calling cards. The waves they make are generally very traceable to a specific source–themselves. Often the personality involved becomes an integral part of the impact of the work. The economics as well as the ego of craftsmanship would seem to call for that high profile.
In the trade of vintage poster art, however, it was often advantageous not to sign a tableau. Most of the most productive posterists were under contract to produce the works of a specific publishing firm and thereby they were forced to forego working for another publisher. Many of them got around that constriction by leaving their (illegal) works for printers, other than those paying them premiums for staying in line, without a suable name. (Another ruse was to use a string of pseudonyms.)
As we’ll proceed to show, there was nothing second rate about much of the poster output missing a creator’s name. Our first instance is not only fabulously composed and colored; but it shows a vigorous talent for propaganda, if not fascinating, historically arresting jingoism. It’s the era of the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, and the imperial imperative is at full tide.
A second Italian graphic artist remaining nameless but not forgettable. The sense here of an antiseptic space ship of a cruise ship coming upon a golden and verdant continent is a most catchy invention at the moment when planes were about to eclipse ships.
A deco master is behind this unattributed lithographic gem. A pen that soars, as fuelled by the ink on sale. Very nice! The occasion calls for a party; and though little things mean a lot, we have on our hands a true pro who moves on without fanfare.
Having too much fun being spot-on to care if anyone knows his name!
As if being part of the magic show, the graphic designer, so galvanized in the form and color evinced here, retreats into mystery!
Quite a puzzle here! That a vigorous marketing firm like Guinness could flourish such a marvel of graphic design and allow proud advantage to tiptoe in and out!
A big favorite in the vintage poster sphere. And no one to thank!
We’ll close with a masterful marshalling of details. And wonder: Who was the inspired presence and where can we see more of his work?