Asking For It

Today’s Poster is a German Great War example entitled ‘Was England will’, or ‘What England wants.’ It’s a powerful poster, showing swarms of British bombers – giant Handley Pages – attacking German factories. The poster is by Egon Tschirch (1889-1948) made in 1918 in Berlin for Selmar Bayer. The background’s even more interesting. The text…

Camo from the Copy

Today an advertisement thanks to Airminded on Twitter. As well as the proposition (‘call us to camouflage your buildings or they may get bombed’, – definitely not a “nice factory, be a shame if something HAPPENED to it” angle of course!) the aircraft caught my eye. It’s not a German type, despite the prominent Swastika…

Firebomb Fritz

A wartime British defensive propaganda character (mostly forgotten today) was ‘Firebomb Fritz’. Here in colour: …and here in black and white, both by Reginald Mount. (Original UK National Archives caption: “Fritz in Nazi bomber” by Reginald Mount, 1942 Catalogue ref: INF 3/1421. The cartoon depicts determined (but subservient) looking German air force men flying towards…

Plane Wallpaper

Another first today, original wallpaper Shared by Don Richardson on ‎America in the 1940s Facebook group, this is a real insight to a really forgotten vernacular household style. Don stated: “We were repairing a water leak in our old house today and found this wallpaper way down deep!”   The Statue of Liberty looks like a…

Bombay over England

Today’s Poster is a classic Shell oil item. The Smithsonian’s catalogue reads: “‘FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE LUBRICATION BY SHELL.’ Framed multi-color print advertising for Shell lubricant. Illustrated with three Bristol Bombays flying over the English countryside.” Artist Karl Felkel (Austrian, 1896–1973).   James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer. Source, National Air and Space Museum here.

Pardo’s Push

Today we have a great example where an original commercial painting fulfils an important illustrative role of an event – not otherwise captured in the full colour movie and photo age of 1967. The Vietnam War. It required artist Ken Dallison in Esquire to bring the event to us in pictorial form. The story is…

See Clearly

Today’s poster and photograph seems clear enough wartime recruitment propaganda, but there’s a bit more to them than meets the eye. Here a woman factory worker is fitting a mount to a clear acrylic dome structure. It’s a nose cone for an American bomber, in this case a Douglas built Boeing B-17F and her head…

Japanese Wing

Today’s Poster is a very strong graphic image from Japan. As yet untranslated [but see below], the text is a mystery to me, but the message of Japanese imperial dominance of the air is clear. An echo of the background, chosen for the match, in the Japanese ‘Hinomaru’ or rising sun wing marking. The central…

Bigger Bombs, Yet

It is an axiom that if you need to explain the joke, it’s probably not an effective one. Likewise with illustration, if it needs an explanation, then it’s probably not effective either. Here the illustrated relative increase of the British Royal Air Force Bomber Command’s all-out war on Nazi Germany and their industry is a…

Sussex’s Sonia Imprint

Today a strange story. Firstly a bizarre imprint ‘artwork’ created in a violent accident. Then a design process by my friend and colleague, professional artist Ronne Olsthoorn, to explain the imprint. On 26 July 1945, the British cruiser HMS Sussex was attacked by two Japanese bomber aircraft acting as kamikaze suicide weapons. One bounced off…