Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Let's Tell a Story

Sitting in a hotel room in Baltimore, having forgotten to charge my phone before heading out. So I’ll kill two birds as I wait for the battery icon to get all happy and green.

In my talk last night at MICA, Whitney Sherman asked a question about the relationship between midcentury design and the work I had presented.

Certainly I have spent plenty of time with material from that period over the last ten years, beginning with our acquisition of the Al Parker collection. I responded to that effect. But, I added, my affection for such work goes beyond postwar nostalgia. As a designer, I think that the economic limitations imposed by printing budgets, etc., created useful constraints. The two-color problem is a gift from God.

Without much comment, I offer a few images of an ensemble of Harry Beckhoff original illustrations published in Redbook in 1949. For present purposes, the period gender politics are not of concern; I’m focused on the carpentry of the images and the narrative they deliver.

Wit + economy + grace + discipline = something special.

4 comments:

sunilo said...

Nice examples. I checked out more of Beckhoff's work on Leif Peng's flickr set. Amazing how much variety he achieved with screens of one or two colors.

Looking forward to the launch of Spartan Holiday!

Sunil

DB Dowd said...

Hey Sunil, thanks for the note. Isn't he great??

Re: SH, I'm working as fast as I can to get that first issue out. A little delayed. I go to press in a week.

Hope all is well with you!

sunilo said...

Good luck finishing up the first issue! Deadlines can be tough when the client is yourself.

I'm getting set up for some serious image making at the start of the new year. Hopefully I can send an update with some fun work in a couple months.

reub-envision said...

they are indeed pretty gorgeous