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Max Robinson Album Covers

Sad to hear of the recent passing of Max Robinson (1934-2018) – An important and much admired Australian Graphic Designer, productive until the end. You can read a brief entry on his career highlights in the AGDA Hall of Fame HERE.  Amongst his high profile work is the Australian $10 note (1993 > version).

Max also produced a number of designs for the world record club in its early years, including one of its now best known – the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 cover below.

Below also are a few other treasures by Max Robinson for the World Record Club which  I have managed to get hold of over the past few years.

Max Robinson for World Record Club

Max Robinson for World Record Club

Max Robinson for World Record Club

Max Robinson for World Record Club

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Czech Matchbox Labels – 1960s Heavy Duty Military

An interesting group of matchbox labels from Czechoslovakia depicting heavy duty military armaments c1960s. 

Very smart, clean graphics and typically Czech in design with great use of colour, and clean bold layout, with a strong visual presence. 

The illustrations are demonstrating the latest in weaponry and warfare equipement – although for which side it is not clear. 

They are related in some way to The Warsaw Army Treaty and to the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops into Czechoslovakia in 1968.

Czech Matchbox Label, Military Armaments

Czech Matchbox Label, Military Armaments

Czech Matchbox Label, Military Armaments

Czech Matchbox Label, Military Armaments

Czech Matchbox Label, Military Armaments

Czech Matchbox Label, Military Armaments

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Soviet Spage Age Matchbox Labels

A group of Soviet, cold war era matchbox labels I came across some time ago and scanned.

They depict elements and achievements of the Soviet space programme in the 1960s.

These achievements are reduced to the simplest form for mass communicaiton – a simple, bold graphic snippet of information, representing hugely important achievements.

In their era matchbox labels were a way to send a message to a whole population who may have otherwise missed out on this information through lack of available media – e.g. newspaper, television et, in a time where every adult had easy access to matches.

Soviet Space Station Concept

Soviet Space Station Concept

Valery Bykovsky

Valery Fyodorovich Bykovsky is a retired Soviet cosmonaut who flew three manned space mission space flights: Vostok 5, Soyuz 22, and Soyuz 31. He was also backup for Vostok 3 and Soyuz 37.

Valentina Tereshkova

Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova,Russian cosmonaut, engineer, and politician. She is the first woman to have flown in space, having been selected from more than 400 applicants and five finalists to pilot Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, “Grandfather” of the Soviet Space Programme

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Erik Nitsche, General Dynamics Posters

Erik Nitsche (1908 – 1998) was born and studied in Switzerland before moving to the U.S. in 1934. His worked helped change the face of graphic design in the United States.

His designs were beautifully “clean”, balanced compositions with brilliant use of colour, geometry and elegant typography. Amongst his most recognisable and memorable work is a series of posters for General Dynamics where he was artistic director 1955-1960.

Due to the sensitive nature of the subjects he designed for at General Dynamics (national security, atomic energy, weapons, aircraft etc) he had to develop a sophisticated abstract visual language in which he conveyed the corporate mission of General Dynamics without depicting any of their products. In some designs by Nitsche you can see the influence of the work of artist Paul Klee who was a family friend during Eriks’ formative years.

Nitsche’s futurist “Atomic” design style was also very influential, and often copied by other designers in the 1950s.

Swann Auction Galleries in New York have an auction coming up on March 1, which features a collection of Erik Nitsche’s General Dynamics posters, from the collection of Gail Chisolm (1954-2017).  Featured below is a selection from Swann Galleries catalogue. Click HERE to see the whole catalogue.

You can also view a fascinating visual archive of  designs by Erik Nitsche on Flickr which includes some superb album cover designs for Decca  HERE . There is also a comprehensive biographical article on Nitsche on THIS website

ERIK NITSCHE (1908-1998) GENERAL DYNAMICS / CANADAIR LIMITED. Circa 1960.

ERIK NITSCHE (1908-1998) GENERAL DYNAMICS / CANADAIR LIMITED. Circa 1960.

ERIK NITSCHE (1908-1998) GENERAL DYNAMICS / ATOMS FOR PEACE. 1955.

ERIK NITSCHE (1908-1998) GENERAL DYNAMICS / ATOMS FOR PEACE. 1955.

ERIK NITSCHE (1908-1998) GENERAL DYNAMICS / NUCLEAR FUSION. 1958.

ERIK NITSCHE (1908-1998) GENERAL DYNAMICS / NUCLEAR FUSION. 1958.

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American Graphic Design, 1956

The Penrose Annual of 1956 has a feature article entitled “American Graphic Design” by Peter Selz & Robert Kosta. It is quite a comprehensive story of  the history of American graphic design from the early 20th century until when it was written for the 1956 publication.

The article outlines the strong influence on graphic design of painting, architecture and the Bauhaus in earlier part of the 20th Century. It also outlines the possible dangers emerging such as:

“One danger felt by many designers stems for an approach to graphic design in terms of visual form in themselves, without regards for their meaning. This leads easily to cut and dried formula layouts with the substitution of a new set of cliches”

The whole article is a fascinating read, as are all of these in-depth articles in the Penrose Annuals. The articles are well worth studying for those interesting in the history and development of graphic design, emerging technologies of this time, and the development of our overall visual language during the 20th Century.

Magazine Cover by W. H. Allner

Magazine Cover by W. H. Allner

Magazine Cover by W. H. Allner

Magazine Cover by W. H. Allner

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