Saturday, 27 November 2010

Advertising & New Media.


*To engage in current (acadmic & industry) debates, regarding the impact of new media on traditional advertising structures and practices.
* To compare this impact of that of the late 19th century, with the technological porgress of colour printing at the beginning of the (UK) advertising industry.

Objectives (and points of consideration):

*Understand some key points in the history of advertising.
*Understand the context (historical, political, economic and cultural) in which advertising emerged.
*Understand some aspects of advertising strategy.
*Speculate the implications of New Media on creativity & the role of the creative; you.

What is new media?

* 'media that work not through persuassion or impressions but through engagement and involvement. If we stick with the old (mass media) model, we squander all the possibilities of the new media ecosystem' (Rory Sutherland, 2009- the president of the IPA and Executive Creative Director of Ogilvy UK).

What is old media?

*Back to the beginning... (late 19th century)
*To compare the impact of New Media to the technological progress of colour printing, at the beginning of the (UK) advertising industry.


*'Advertising the most fun with your clothes on'
*Robin Wright WCRS, 118 118 & 'The future's bright, the future's orange' tagline creator- even now, years on, these taglines are still globally famous- advertising can have huge effect. On Radio 4, Wright told a story about the history of advertising and personal experiences in the business.
* William Hesketh Lever (1851-1925) was one half of the 'Lever Bros'- a formation which would go on to be one of the World's largest advertising companies, 'Unilever', as they founded advertising.
*Bill Bernback (1911-1982) (DDB) was one of the first to combine the talents of copywriters and art directors- what would go on to be one of the most important partnerships in the advertising practice.

*The first ever product used in an advertising campaign was...soap! A clothes cleaner named 'Sunlight Soap', branded by Unilever.*

Sunlight, Lux to Lynx...

*Orginally, the Unilever company (brothers) exclusively made soap, now with over 900 brands in their company listings, they are one of the larest advertising brands in the world, including: Ben & Jerry's, Bertoli, Bird's Eye, Comfort, Persil, Sunsilk, Lynx, Surf...
* Unilever are now considered a "unbiquitous brand", a part of the average consumers 'mental furniture' (Lewism p57).

*The year that London had it's 'Great Exhibition' (1851) an etching was made of the Crystal Palace (the location which held the Exhibition) at the apex of the Earth. Britain at this time was considered to be a super-power (at the time it was the richest country in the world, it is now fourth), and all colonies in the British empire were invited to showcase their trades, goods, and wares.

The beginning of pre-packaging:

*The beginnings of pre-packaging bought a revolution in technology, whereupon graphics could be produced and sent with great ease.
* In the 1860's cereal "figured out" how to print, fold and fill cardboard boxes mechanically- therefore, introducing a new age of mass-productio.
*The companies that revolutionised and benefited most from this discovery was John & William Kellogg (of Kellog cereal's fame) and Henry J Heinz (Most notably famed for 'Heinz Beans' with the advertising campaign "Beanz Meanz Heinz").
* Before this time, soap was sold in long bars to grocers who stamped (the stamp of the maker) and sliced up the bar into individual pieces- a practice which is now becoming more popular thanks to companies such as 'Lush', who emphasise the "eco appeal" in the minimal use of packaging.
*So, in the case of Sunlight Soap, packaging helped to take the product to a far more sophisticated level, and therefore, could feesibly rise in the cost to the consumer.

Advertising & Colour Printing.

*Advertising boom aided by abolishement of taxes on newspapers in 1855 & paper in 1861.
*Press (newsapapers) owes a great deal to advertising- as one of the oldest and popular mediums to publish advertisements.
*In terms of advertising, the modern day (real) competetor for newspapers is google.
*Technological progress in reproduction & colour printing with pictorial advertisements in magazines emerged in the 1880's, with poster advertisements coming into play ten years later in 1890, whereupon they could now be mass produced in colour to a very high, professional level.
*Technology enabled contemporary paintings to be reproduced.

Contemporary Art & Advertising.

*Lever took full advantage of the printing process, and bought contemporary paintings to use within his advertising campaigns. During this time, if you bought a painting, you owned the copyright (not like today, where the creator, or artist, is the copyright holder)

Product Placement (clock and cup) and Brand Loyalty.

*Lever bought the painting 'The Wedding Morning' (1892 by John Henry Frederick Bacon)- using the white linen wedding dress to link his product of his clothes-cleaning soap, with the family image to advertise the brand, promoting cleanliess, wholesomeness and purity. He removed the teacup from the image (and clock upon the mantlepiece also) and replaced them with the Unilever product 'Sunlight Soap'- generating a "brand loyalty" through a series of photos styled in a similar fashion, all promoting happy, clean, and successful living.

*The brand Unilever now sponsers a contemporary artist to exhibit in the Tate Modern Gallery in London each year. Although this does not seem like an obvious partnership, this gives the company a youthful and innovative image, as well as a very charitable one- and image which will reflect onto their own product range, and, consequently, will give a positive image and help generate an increase in revenue from customers, feeling happy to economically contribute to the brand and their products- consequently, by the end of his life, Lever was one of the richest men in the UK.
Medicine, Chocolate, and Soap...

*Sunlight Soap was the first of many products to appear in the International advertisment scheme of Unilever, and many other brands- Medicine, Chocolate and Soap manufacturers appearing to be the foremost, and most successful advertisers (e.g. cadbury's 'in the air tonight' gorilla on the drums advert, and dove's 'love the skin you're in' adverisment series).
Promotion, Interactive?
*To celebrate opening a new office, Unilever organised a washing competition at Lake Geneva, 1889. With two steamers, washer women, sunlight soap, large crowds and a banquet, the advertising and promotional day was a community event, a social occasion which people instantly associated with their family-forward branding ideal.
*Unilever was also the first to introduce International schemes- an 1892 endoresement to 'Soap makers of Queen Vic'- with the influence of royal association, the soap became more sophisticated and seemingly a patriotic brand, making people proud to be a Sunlight Soap consumer.
Capture the Children
*Unilever commonly used images of children in their advertising campaigns, often dressed in clean, white clothing, and shot in an angelic wa. The schemes targeted Mothers and families with a lifetime of brand loyalty.
Investing in Advertising
*Lever spent £2million in his first two decades of making soap.
*1899 Lever purchased Philadelphia soap firm- and owner Sidney Gross became director, whom was considered expert at 'picking the right artist for advertisements' (Lewis, 2008 p69).
Art Direction
*Gross suggested that the Unilever brand, Plantol (a soap for washing floors) should depict tropical climates and express the care that is excercised in refining oils (Palmoil was one of the main ingredients within the soap).
*Perhaps this was a vision to disguise slavery? Lever was an advocate of forced labour- his advertisements would be quite contrary to the reality of the practice.
Executive Creative Director
*Collaborative Creativity
*Lever employed many international people with particular areas of expertise.
*They constantly researched and studied the art form to ensure best results and inspiration at all times.
*Sent examples of (American) adverts across the company (including colour magazines) to prompt creative discussions, encouring others in the company to exhaust their creativity.
*Innovative spaces, with doors left open at stations- their team would be a collaborative one.
*The company was choosey where they advertised, avoiding left-wing newspapers due to Lever's Liberalist views.
*Firm known by the quality of the medium in which it advertises (Lewis, 2008, p72).
Publications & Targeting Audience
*Sunlight soap and how to use it spoke directly to the working class housewives, their hopes and aspirations of life.
*Salvation of Sunlight, improves their life, leaving quality time for romance, keeping youthful and vitalised.
1893 Sunlight Advertisements
*Home is to be the very dearest spot on Earth, if the mother or wife brightens it with the sunlight of her cheerful smile...when things go right in the kitchen and laundry...the housewife's face is lit up (Lewis, 2008, p77).
*Another talked of a mother's special responsibilities in the transmission of knowledge to her daughter, before her daughter is about to be married (Lewis, 2008, p77).
Advertisement Stratagies
*Used different international agencies, particularly for American markets.
*For domestic and imperial markets, the theme of "Britishness" suited all- as Britain owned a subtansial number of colonies within it's empire. Because of this, Britain had connotations with victory, superiority and power, which people were, of course, happy to be associated with.
New Media Model
*Shift (Spurgeon, 2008)
*Mass to my media
*More personalised
*More targeted (mobile)
*Also involves audience:
-Voluntarily passing around advertisements (viral)
-Creating- spoofs, or filming events
Viral Advertising
*One distinction between old and new media- people choose to seek out the advertisements, voulntarily, as oppossed to advertisements being pasted over television screens or through printed media, etc...
*Forced viewings (through television or print)
New communication model
*Old: transmission
*Transmit ideas to an audience
*New: Cybernetic
*Engage with an audience
*Via computer (mediated communication).

Trevor Beattie (Founded BMB Adveritising Agency) Ideas

*Biggest idea since the wheel> Internet
*Enables lots of small ideas to circulate
*That combined of a trillion little ideas is in itself the biggest idea there is...I think that we are at the most interesting point of communications history ever...
*Digital media> convergence of media opens up oppurtunities for creatives.

Viewer-generated content

*The viewer-generated advertising from this video for mentos was worth $10 million, more than half of the company's annual advertising budget (Spurgeon, 2008, p1).
*For the first time, audiences are actively influencing the decisions and choses which advertisers make through popularity of videos.

Creating a dialog

*One of the most important elements of advertising is to effectively communicate to it's audience, capturing and inspiring their imaginations.

old spice.

The old spice advertisement series achieved this brilliantly- with a simple, but very innovative idea which really caught on, becoming an incredibly popular viral- with a facebook dedicted page, and even a twitter account, which led on to create this...

Audience Judges Creativity

*In November 2010, YouTube, breaking from traditionality and conventional advertising awards allowed a panel of judges to shortlist the most creative and innovative ads of the year, for the final result to be chosen by the viewers of YouTube videos, with this marvellously simple, yet powerfully emotive piece to be chosen:

embrace life.

The Third Screen

*Mobile Phones will soon beconmes the greatest tool for persuassion, more so than any other medium for advertising (Fogg, 2003).
*Fastest growing markets in the creative industries (Mobile Learning Confrence 2009, 1st December, 2009, London).

New Model of Creativity
*Working in larger teams, a collaborative community.
*Collaborative online creativity: eStudio
*Giant Hydra Advertising company- "Two heads are better than one"- developing a mass collaborative industry.

As a graphic design student, I have come in reasonably little advertising theory, but after this lecture, I feel truly inspired, and have found learning about the history of advertising to be truly fascinating- the viral advertisements have really ignited my imagination, and i sincerely aspire to be able to create a piece of design even half as wonderful as some of the pieces I have linked or disucssed through this post.

Despite only really just having an introduction to the power of advertising, I understand that advertising and graphics really do work together constantly and wholeheartedly in design practice- in a numerous amount of cases, one just wouldn't work without the other. As I am aware, advertisers have always been noted to have "the ideas", which then go on to be made a reality by graphic designers- making those ideas visual, innovative and unique.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Connotations in Tabloid Journalism.

After an introduction to Semiotics, we went on to analyse particular stories from tabloid paper, and I chose the story...


> Fury as massive council rent rises
>ConDem plans 'attack the vulnerable'

From Daily Mail's 23.11.10 publication.

From the very beginning, from the three word title "punish the poor" it is clear to see which social stance the paper is taking on this issue- having empathy with the "hard-up families", and the Government Ministers clearly being depicted as "the enemy" in a quote from Defend Council Housing campaign group, "ministers must rethink this madness".

The signifier in this article is:

*The written/spoken/imagery- analysis.
*The image of the Minister, Grant Shapps, looking confident, bold, finger-pointing, perhaps somewhat aggresively.
*Concil housing- dirty, unkept examples of ill living- emphasising the "lower class vulnerability" of the persons whom may experience the forthcoming rise in council housing rent payments.

The signified in this article is:
*The summary of the article- anger and frustration as Government plan to raise the cost of counil house living, attacking those most economically vulnerable.

The denotation (what is being denoted) in this article is
*People's basic understanding of Goverment and Council Housing-
*The contrast between the two social groups- the lower classes "vs" the upper classes- the most powerful placing the poor in even greater stages of economic vulnerability.

The connotation (what is being connoted) in this article is:
*The associational meanings of Government and council housing, what the public potentially percieve (notes here specific to the article):

The myth in this article is:
*The system and rise in council house costs will affect as many people, if not more so, in a negative way that the positive aspects the exsisting council housing scheme has to offer- the negatives will outweight the positives.
*The current coalition Government is corrupt and manipulative "heads they win, tails you loose with this Governement".

An Introduction to Semiotics.


*Understand the basics of semiotic theory.
*Have an idea of how to apply semiotic theory.
*Understand the following terms- code, sign, signifier, signified, arbitary, denotation, connotation, myth.
*Understand the importance of 'meaning' in the study of art, design, and culture.

What is semiotics?

*The "science" of studying signs- a social science which emerges from linguistics (anything that can give meaning in society).

Meaning of semiotics and linguistics were developed by Ferdinand de Sanssure (Swiss Linguist).

Linguistics is the science which explains how language works- the "agreed" meaning of words, formed by society.

In the same way we can unravel meaning in language by understanding the written and spoken material, we can also unravel meaning in cultural as operating like a language.

a code=a system of symbols or signs.

*Culture operates like a system. Semiotics is understanding how meaning is structured. All meaning is constructed through codes- symbols and signs which collectively form a meaning.

One example we evaluated to distinguish systems of meaning was looking at different ways in which a suit can be worn, with three examples: "ghetto/ganster" culture, "punk rock" culture, and the stereotypical image of a business man in a suit. This system of meaning (suit) is referred to as a "text" in linguistic- even if we are talking about an image, it is referred to as "text" due to the fact that we read them (deeper meaning and analysis).

The text is created from various riffs within an agreed cult or social culture- conformists/uncornformists, etc- belonging to a particular group, developed to a system that everyone comes to know and understand, a "code".

Films such as Blazzin' Saddles and Star Wars challenge semiotics, whereupon the debunk the nature of cultural codes and why they mean what they do. Along with many other paradoies of the Western genre, Blazzin' Saddles has a central character of an Afro-Carribean cowboy (which, as history has shown us, this would never of happened in this social culture), whereas Star Wars plays up to te conventions of outer space.

*Codes are found in all forms of cultural practice.
*In order to make sense of cultural artefacts we need to learn and understand their codes.
*We need to acknowledge that codes rely on a shared knowledge.

As aforementioned, the theory of semiotics was developed by Swiss linguist, Ferdinand de Saussure, who tried to show the unlogical relationship between words and their signified meaning.

For an example, we looked at an image of a dog- the name 'dog', although having no particular link with the animal itself has had a concentual agreement to be named this particular name, whereas 'woofer!' or 'barker!' would, of course, be more appropraite, in it's sound/image signifier form.

How is a sign made-up?
A sign has two parts:
signifier + signified= sign
A signifier is:
*Written word e.g 'dog'
*Spoken word 'dog'
*Barking by a dog
*Picture of a dog
Signified is:
*Mental concept of a dog
Signifier= Sound Image
Signified= Mental Concept
Rolan Barthes wrote 'Mythologies' in 1957- an analitical study of meaning within society. Barthes was a critical and theoretical essayist, writing deeply about aspects of French culture and what they mean within society.
Breaking down signifers and signified analysis further, meaning can be broken down into "denotation" and "connotation".
Denotation: Basic understanding og a dog 'four legged creature' etc.
(what is 'denoted')
Connotation: associational meanings of a dog- 'loyalty', 'companionship', 'Krufts', 'walks', 'smells'.
Connotations are culturally specific and taught by society- with a deeper meaning embedded within our subconcious- associations that we always make, not a concious thought or decision.
We studied an image- an advertisement for Scotch Whiskey with a couple sitting on a luxurious sofa amongst the open wilderness of a Scottish Glen, with the title above reading
"Take yourself to the Glen of tranquility"
We searched for what the image connoted, and I came up with these particular points:
*advertisement for whiskey connoting relaxation, "the wild outdoors", peace, "breathtaking wilderness", Scotland (the heartland of whiskey), a shared experience, calming, fresh, a social element: "drinking this whiskey will take you to Scotland". The Corbusier sofa gives an air of sophistication in it's Modernist design, a stylishness in the mixture of traditionality and modern sophistication*
Barthers said that MYTH comes into play in the realms of connotation, and became problamatic for him- he saw it that many didn't understand that they are socially given connotation in their idealogies.
'The Myths which suffuse our lives are insidious precisely because they appear so moral"- Barthes, R.
We then went on to analyse John Constable's 1821 painting, 'The Haywain', which, through time has come to connote the myth of quintessential Englishnes- green, pleasant, pastural land with big, rolling hills. Images such as this have a large part to play in this idealology that many still maintain to this day, nearly two hundred years on.
The image was infact painted at a time of mass rioting, and this would have been painted for the wealthy land-owner to compliment their fantasies and rose-tinted view of the country.
However, as I have previously mentioned, this connotation has now become "the norm" of Britons, and people the world over today.
This goes hand-in-hand with people's views and the connoted view of England as a prosperous and victorious country- stemmed from the myth of St. George (the Country's Patron Saint), whose courageous slaying of the ruthless dragon resulted in a Pagan country converting to Christianity- even portayed today in popular culture, football matches etc- sense of pride and symbolism.

We looked at various other images and how they can be connoted- what symbolism the images intended to represent- ranging from the Eva Hertzegonia 'Double Major' Wonderbra advert (famously causing road traffic accidents as men couldn't take their eyes from the advertising billboard!) sexualising and dumbing-down the image of modern woman to appeal to the majority of men, to the racial sterotypes of 'wicked won' chinese restaurant's "no! we no see cat of yours. no more ask please." advertisment. This, perhaps both contreversial, and yet humuorous advert works as a tool to attract people to their restaurant, promoting their "Chinese-ness", yet also potentially offensive- contreversey sells!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

'The Document'.

"Still there is something predatory in the act of taking a picture. To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as they see themselves, by having knowledge of them as they can never be; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed. Just as the camera is a sublimation of the gun, to photograph someone is a subliminated murder- a soft murder, appropraite to a sad, frightened time."- Susan Sontag, 1979:15.

*** The document describes the photograph as an objective and truthful document of the world, photography as a fact. There are always hidden power struggles in photography- with power, agenda and neutral imagery. ***

  • To introduce documentary photography and conflict photography.
  • Introduce the work of Mass Observation, Magnum and the FSA photographers.
  • Explore questions of objectivity and subjectivity inherent in documentary practice.
  • Interrogate the authoritity of the photographic image.

James Natchwey, famous War Photographer states

"I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten, and must never be repeated."

  • Documentary photography is evidence not to question- in a neutral state.
  • Using the camera to investigate social change, recording for history in it's documentation (and to inform others) "a camera with a conscience"- not purely there to visually record, but also to expose threat, scandal, etc.
  • James Nachtwey ( shows visual documentation with the idea that ending conflict inspires him to create a sense of humanity. A powerful antidote to the end of War, whereupon photographers emerse themselves in these potentially life-threatening situations to emote and inform the masses- protesting to make other protest. The documentary photographer's role is to be involved in societies- often taking a stance and taking political sides with hopes to communicate and persuade.

Palestine, 2000, James Nachtwey.

Rwanda, 1994, James Natchwey.

Sudan, 1993, James Natchwey.

Frances Firth (1875) "Entrance to the Great Temple"- the beginnings of photographic practice show documentation of the divides between "us" and "them"- and introduces people to new cultures and societies that they may have otherwise never seen, creating bonds, yet also driving classes and socities further apart than ever.

William Edward Kilburn, 'The Great Charitist Meeting At the Common' (1848)- the photographer here removes himself from the crowd, detached from the image- creating a sense of authenticity, though this is not neccessarily as emotive or thought-provoking, as it depeicts an outsider looking on, not in.

"The Decisive moment"

Roger Fenton (1855) 'Into the Shadow of the Valley of Death'.

"Photography achieves it's highest distinction- reflecting the universality of the human condition in a never-to-be-retrieved fraction of a second."

Henri Cartier-Bresson
Gare Saint Lazare, 1932 Paris, Place de l'Europe.

Cartier-Bressons images were distinctive for being very composed in his ideas, he would reportedly wait for hours for "the decisive moment"- by capturing a fraction of a second, creating something more artistic than standard objective photography.

But in documentation, such as Cartier-Bresson's is there an element of aestheticisation? And if so, does this make it truly documentary?

Jacob Riis (1888) 'Bandits Roost'- a middle-class campaigning photographer, photographed scenes of poverty and squalor to show the public, in order to prompt reforms to ease these people out of poverty and lower-class living.

Of course, these pictures, with the technological advances of cameras in these times wouldn't have been a "quick snap", but carefully set-up and posed- these men were far too respectably dressed to have been from the lower classes, and with the hinsight on modern day, this picture cannot show a true depiction of the time- yet with this documentation the only thing to relate to, this is all people have to distinguish societies and cultures of these times.
This was socialisation as much as documentation. Vouyeristic, "allowing" the rich to spy on the poor, was this a hidden agenda for Riis as he published his photographic works, was it purely a money-maker?

Lewis Hine, Russian steel workers, Homestead, pa. 1908

This photographed showed neutrality with humanity. Sharing the plight og immagrant workers as normal, strong and hard-working people.

FSA Photographers (1935-44.)- Farm Security Administration (Department of Agriculture)

  • Director: Ray Stryker
  • Depression: 11 million unemployed
  • Mass migration of farm-workers and labourers 'Oakies'
  • They used photography in photojournalism and as an effective emotive lobbying tool
The "Shooting Scripts" instructed as to lobby: which pictures to take, etc- with complete agenda.

Margaret Bourke-White, 'Sharecroppers Home', 1937.

The staged scene is created to be very emotive to the audience- with the youth and innocence of the young boy and faithful dog by his side, the newspaper-lined walls reflecting commercialism and industry- affluent vs. impoverished- not at all neutral, staged, emotive and biased.

Russel Lee, 1939, 'Interior of a Black Farmer's House'.

Dorothea Lange, 1936, 'Migrant Mother'- THE image of the depression.

The FSA were service members, as oppossed to artistic creatives, they were employed by the Government, and were expected to send them their negatives, whereupon the choice photos would be selected- with the photographers getting no real say in the images chosen- and the results and images chosen would often be far different from their personal choice.

Mass Observation 1937-1960's
  • Tom Harrison (anthropologist)
  • Charles Madge (poet)
  • Humphrey Jennings (filmmaker)
  • Humphrey Spender (photographer)
1/2 political, 1/2 social. The Mass Observationists in Photography tried to depict every day life in Britain.
  • Leica cameras were invented circa 1920- easily to document and photograph, instant results- really capturing a moment.
  • Photographer's roles become far more socially important, yet could only have been completed thanks to the new, modern technologies.

Robert Capa, Normandy, France- 1945, documenting yet also aesthetisised? The distinctive "Capa shudder" led people to believe that he tried to "glamourise" drama and devistation.

The Magnum Group

  • Founded in 1947 by Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa.
  • Ethos of documenting the world and it's social problems.
  • Promoting Internationalism and mobility./
In conclusion, the Magnum Group was a collaborative network of journalists and photographers of whom inspired to "record the world for humanity".

Robert Capa.

Don Mucillin 'Shell Shocked Soldier'.

Robert Haeberle (1969)- The Milie Massacre- Vietnam, whereupon innocent civillians were slaughtered (such as the family in this photograph). The family in this image were seconds away from being shot, when Haeberle intervened and called for the American soldiers to stop- though not to stop shooting them, but to pause for a second so that he could take a photograph, thus he captured them in their last moment of these people's lives- a moment of true horror.

For a group and movement which was said to have been established for the sake of humanity and spreading awareness, how humane was this? Surely, he could have tried to save these people?
Summary of Documentary Photography:
-Offering a humanitarian perspective.
-Portraying social and political situations.
-Objective is to tell the facts of the situation.
-People usually form the subject matter- emotive and human.
  • Barthes, R (1982) 'Camera Lucida', UK, Hill & Wang
  • Clarke, G (1997) 'The Photograph', UK, Oxford University Press
  • Edwards, S (2006) 'Photography: a very short introduction'
  • Sontag, S (1979) 'On Photography', UK, Penguin
  • Wells, L (2008) 'Photography: A Critical Introduction', London, Routledge, pp. 65-11

5 sourced examples of Modernist Design.

1. Circa 1900, French poster for Hurtu Machines a Coudre (Sewing Machine brand).
This poster is reminisant of the works of Toulouse-Lautrec, and is another example of the transition between fine art and graphic design through advertising- larely through experimental mixes of paint mediums with typographic compositions.
An example of the transition of modernist design from fine art- a slow shift with the introduction of typographic form to avertise.

2. Jan Tschihold, 1927- the 1920's showed a movement of new typographic composition and experimentation in design. Europe was affluent for it's avant-garde thinking through design, experimenting with geometric illustration (inspired by Bauhaus tutor and practicing artist, Wassily Kandinsky) and abstract composition in typographic design.
Very typically modernist, with influence of industrialisation with photographic montage (camera technology developed in this era) and images of trains, another symbol of modernity- very reminisant, also, to the composition and construcitivist of some of Rodchenko's advertisements.
From the Museum of Modern Art.

3. Mid-century Modernist design by Erik Nitsche- "12 studies" record sleeve cover for French composer Debussy.
I love the use of colour in these "random" circles dotted on the sleeve- this simple addition really lifts the colour and makes for a memorable piece of design to compliment the other art medium it promotes- music.

4. Swiss Modernist Design- graphic design for the chemical industry (Atelier Ciba), circa 1967.
Again, the use of the colour dots really attracted me to this example of Swiss modern design- so simple, but very effective- an attractive aesthetic without excessive embellishment.
As a traditionalist and classic art lover, I never knew I would find myself so absorbed by modernism, but the Swiss designers have certainly given it full justice for me, showcasing how a simple idea can really transform a piece without being over-the-top and uneccessary.

5. Another great example of modernist Swiss design for the chemical industry- designed by J. Hauser (geigy), circa 1967. A great use of photography- a popular tool in the Modernist age as technologies developed, and collaged with graphic design- clear, bold, and communicative.