Normandie Cover 1935;Paul Iribe;12″x 9 1/2″;Booklet ; 26pp

The architecture of cruise ships comes in many sizes, styles and levels of competence and inspiration. Graphic design master, Paul Iribe (1883-1935), way back in 1934, became so galvanized, despite being close to the end of his life, by the entry of that singular beauty, the Normandie, that he created one of the greatest small-format design gems the world has ever seen.

His promotional project constituted a culmination of the art deco invention happily showering Paris for a couple of decades before, an output for which Iribe was a major player.

Streamline form, breathtaking color and texture and perfect proportions became the magnet attaching him to his commission with singular resolve and inspiration. (Iribes’ being a great furniture designer, lover of fashion icon Coco Chanel and a designer for Hollywood movies in the 1920s constituted other significant factors.)

The image above shows the cover of this substantial booklet. Let’s note right at the outset that the illustrative motif showing the way is an almost astronomical spaciousness.  



The main function of this attachment is to emphasize, by contrast, the panache of Iribe’s wide, uncluttered vision in our work of the hour.





The impact of such a conveyance of the ship’s salon comprises those formal and biographical issues just mentioned: perfect taste and a pronounced calm.





The dining room is anything but cozy. However, the overall mood is one of strict privacy.




Part of the deck, to explore not only a pronounced feature (the smokestacks) but also the territory of endless space. The deco distortion here amplifies the vein of uncanniness which Iribe finds to be overwhelmingly gratifying.




Sharp facilities for sharp characters! A carefree paradise consisting of many solitudes communing with breathtaking seas!




A theatre perfect for a clientele very conversant with stylish and daring drama. Despite the reticence to overstep privacy, the frappe of the cruise includes an interest in being carried beyond previous heights.




The suites reflect an expectation that the time on board must be rigorously embraced by experts in comfort and discovery!




Children are given much attention; but not by their parents. As an exponent of the excitingly new, Iribe (as with the entire Normandie experience), delighted in explorations that did not well jibe with normal domesticity.




Another casualty of such high chic was the dimension of religion; the chapel being buried somewhere out of the way.




A deco-redolent plant conservatory would fit in far more readily than the previous two priorities.




An uplifting pool, especially ingratiating itself in providing lots of distance from others.




For the very most demanding guest!




A close-up of the heavenly industrial design and mural art brought on board for the sake of ensuring that the trip would never be forgotten!




Much more than a room with a lovely prospect of sea.




A stripped down gym for minimalist-loving, stripped-down elites.





We’ll round things out with the hair salon, suitably exclusive. A question coming into view about the whole of this dream-edifice is whether the heart having been invested into it was met with comprehension of the opportunity to enlarge upon maturity. At any rate, we can derive great gifts from the remarkable efforts of Paul Iribe in this major production.


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This entry was posted in Art Deco Posters&Graphics, Illustration Art, Illustrators, Industrial Design, Poster&Graphic Artists and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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