Bill Mauldin was an American cartoonist who is one of the best known and best-loved newspaper cartoonists in America. He is remembered for his depiction of life in the trenches during World War 2- which initially gained him fame- and then later became known for his editorial cartoons that dealt with a wide range of social and political issues. During his time in the military where he was assigned in Europe, he produced numerous cartoons that essentially captured the experiences and emotions of an entire generation of soldiers, usually through his characters Willie and Joe, two infantrymen. He chose to draw pictures for and about soldiers because he knew what it was like and wanted to make something out of the humorous situations that came up even when the soldiers thought that life could not get any more miserable. In addition to his cartoons about fighting in the war, he also created cartoons that boldly displayed social and political commentary. For example, some of the cartoons attacked the issues of racism, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), and McCartyism.
Continue reading “The Golden Age Part 2: Bill Mauldin (1921-2003)”
Hergé (Georges Prosper Remi) was a Belgian cartoonist who was best known as the creator of the comic series, Adventures of Tintin. One of the most influential comic creators in history, he single handily launched the Belgian comics industry with Adventures of Tintin. He was a master at crafting suspenseful page-turners where humour was never far away and had the latest political, cultural, and scientific inventions of the time mirrored in his work.
Through his comics, he developed his own graphic style, “Ligne Claire” (Clear Line). This style had thin, bright, and clean lines and avoided the use of hatches, shadow effects, or excessive details. This gave his work the clarity of readability. Decades later, when he started adding colours, they were applied in his open outlined areas and were flat and plain. Hergé insisted that his drawings’ line quality formed the true structure of his work, which is why he used a light pastel palette to help his lines stand out and allow more complex images to be easily read.
Continue reading “The Golden Age Part 1: Hergé (1907-1938)”
Helmut Krone (1925-1996):
Helmut Krone was an American advertising art director who was considered a pioneer of modern advertising. Born in Yorkville, Manhattan, he started his design career at 29 at Doyle Dane Bernbach where he would continue to work (except for a short time in the early ’70s) for the next 30 years and practically his entire career.
Before the term “branding” had even come to exist, Krone already understood how graphic design could define an institution’s personality. He was always after a product’s individual personality and this “total way of speaking”. He believed that the ad that reflects the company is the company itself.
Continue reading ““The only quality I really have an appreciation for is newness.” – Helmut Krone”
Coles Phillips was an American illustrator that was the first to introduce the Art Deco styles into advertising design. He created illustrations of magazine covers of very modern and seductively designed women by using radical techniques. This became his signature trademark, the “Fadeaway Girl”, which became a hallmark throughout his career. While other illustrators created more elegant images, Phillips used a certain cerebral approach and design device to create his “Fadeaway Girl” technique. He cleverly linked the background colour surrounding the model’s dress to its colour so that she would give the impression of being close and far away at the same time. To do so he subtly combined the foreground and background by using the same colour to add to his other uses of unique compositions and themes, and pastels.
I thoroughly enjoy Coles Phillips’ illustrations. Especially, his “Fadeaway Girl”, the technique that he was famously known for. The contrast between the flatly coloured dress and the model’s exposed flesh is well used and if I were to live during his time, I would’ve definitely been enamoured in the ads he illustrated for. I also appreciate the “simplicity” he has managed to display in his illustrations as I know that to successfully pull it off, extensive planning must’ve been used.
Continue reading “Illustration’s Early Masters: Coles Phillips (1880-1927)”
Thomas Crane was an English illustrator known for his ornamental designs and embellishments. He became the Director of Design at the London office of Marcus Ward and Co. where he supervised the design and sale of Christmas cards, a product popular in the 1880s. In addition, he frequently worked on illustrations for both the company’s Christmas cards and children’s books. Marcus Ward and Co.’s Christmas cards were known for their quality and were popular with art collectors. His designs of the Christmas cards have been praised by art critics, especially on the appropraite and most refined ornamentation on the borders and backs. Aside from his time at Marcus Ward and Co., Crane had also produced a series of celebrated books with other contemporary illustrators.
Thomas Crane is also known for his designs of needlework patterns. He was chosen as one of several artists to create needlework patterns for the Royal School of Needlework. His designs had helped the revival of artistic needlework and ornamental embroidery.
Continue reading “Beginnings to the Golden Age: Thomas Crane (1843-1915)”