Imperial Tube

Today’s Poster has an obvious heritage, that of Henry Beck’s iconic London Underground map. Previously ‘forgotten’, it’s an interesting take on the airline and public transport route map concept; something that has much more social history than is often realised. From the new “Airline Maps: A Century of Art & Design” book, details here. There’s…

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.

Toys of Yesteryear

Today a photo of a British toy shop window – A caption gives it as ‘Henley, UK, 1960, by Stuart James’. It’s an interesting mix that social historians could, I’m sure, make a lot of. Aircraft aren’t particularly prominent, but they’re there. Right in the middle, is model box of a de Havilland DH 106…

In Colour! Bombers & Fighters

A pair of books that were passed onto me by my friend Carole Barker, from her father Bernard Thorpe‘s collection. These are based on pre-war information, and were an exciting visual feast, given the paucity of colour printing in the period. On the covers, a pre-war Hawker Hurricane and Vickers Armstrong Wellesley, the Wellesley’s artwork…

French Ivan

A strong cover design for a paperback in French – ‘Poursuite dans l’Atlantique’ (‘Atlantic Pursuit’) by Ivan Southall by éditions Gérard & C°, 1960. The original book is a rarely seen fictional work by Australian Short Sunderland pilot veteran and later author, translated soon after publication into French. English language details here. Somewhat surprising, to…

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…

Dare to Rare

Today we dive right into the pulp. Sticking strictly to the ‘Dare-Devil Aces’ magazine of the inter to World War Two period, we still have more than enough awesome to play with. Starting with the Japanese ATTACK on New York, being defended by the US Navy (fair enough) but also a handsome assist by the…

AI – A?

Fifty years ago on the 15th September, 1969, the ‘Battle of Britain’ film was released. A painstaking effort at telling the story of the 1940 Battle, as well as an all-star cast, a huge fleet of aircraft was assembled for the real aerial cinematography. Though the film was not a success at the box office,…

Magazine Fuel

Today, two covers from the Air BP trade journal, thanks to my artist colleague Ian Bott, who said in 2016: “Picked these up at Duxford yesterday: beautifully-designed, inventive and effortlessly-cool BP in-house trade magazines from, I assume, the 1960s. Those must have been the days for a graphic designer.” As well as the straight ‘art’…