Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘design’

16 JANUARY, 2013

Gorgeous Vintage British Road Safety Ads, 1939-1946

By:

“Lookout in the blackout — think before you cross the road.”

Vintage visual communication has a special kind of mesmerism — from travel posters to political infographics to science ads. But beautifully designed vintage PSAs and public-interest propaganda stand as a particularly striking echelon of design as a mind-mover, and perhaps a bittersweet testament to the downhill spiral of similarly intentioned modern-day creative efforts. On the heels of this 1969 bike safety manual come a series of stunning vintage road safety from the UK National Archives.

'Shine your torch downwards when crossing the road' (1939-1946)

Artist: Tom Gentleman

Pastel and gouache on paper. Graphite lines, numbers and inscriptions.

'Drivers; make sure you can always pull up within the range of your headlights' (1939-1946)

Artist: Tom Gentleman

Pastel and gouache on paper. Graphite lines, numbers and inscriptions.

'Cyclists; make sure you can be seen in the black-out' (1939-1946)

Artist: Tom Gentleman

Pastel and gouache on paper. Graphite lines, numbers and inscriptions.

Female and male figures walking at night (1939-1946)

Artist: Tom Gentleman

Pastel and gouache on paper. Graphite lines, numbers and inscriptions.

'Take no chances. Keep death off the road' (1939-1946)

Artist: Ashley

'Lookout in the blackout. Think before you cross the road' (1939-1946)

Artist: Pat Keely

Gouache appears to have been applied to thick paper stuck to a board support. Ink has possibly been used for the technique of air-brushing.

'Look out in the blackout. Until your eyes get used to the darkness take it easy' (1939-1946)

Artist: Pat Keely

Gouache appears to have been applied to thick paper stuck to a board support. Ink has possibly been used for the technique of air-brushing.

'Cross only at the lights' (1939-1946)

Artist: Pat Keely

Gouache appears to have been applied to thick paper stuck to a board support. Ink has possibly been used for the technique of air-brushing. There is a graphite mark on the board.

'Lookout in the blackout - think before you cross the road' (1939-1946)

Artist: Pat Keely

Gouache appears to have been applied to thick paper stuck to a board support. Ink has possibly been used for the technique of air-brushing. There is a graphite mark on the board.

'Walk left of the pavement' (1939-1946)

Artist: Pat Keely

Gouache appears to have been applied to thick paper stuck to a board support. Ink has possibly been used for the technique of air-brushing.

Donating = Loving

Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month. If you find any joy and stimulation here, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.





You can also become a one-time patron with a single donation in any amount.





Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s what to expect. Like? Sign up.

14 JANUARY, 2013

Head Garden: A Lyrical Animated Film by Lilli Carré

By:

I’ve been a longtime admirer of Chicago-based artist Lilli Carré’s tender illustration and clever comics, but only recently came across her film Head Garden — a lyrical, surreal, mesmerizing exegesis of what it’s like to lose your head.

Heads or Tails (public library), a sublime collection of Carré’s short story comics from the past five years, was published last November and is an absolute treat:

Complement with the musical animated film Iterations.

Donating = Loving

Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month. If you find any joy and stimulation here, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.





You can also become a one-time patron with a single donation in any amount.





Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s what to expect. Like? Sign up.

11 JANUARY, 2013

How People Earn and Use Money: Vibrant Vintage Illustrations from 1968

By:

“Before spending money a person should be sure he is doing the right thing.”

With the fiscal cliff towering over the mainstream media, one has to wonder how America cultivated its relationship with money and the economic mindset that got us where we are today. In 1968, at the peak of “the century of the self” and the consumerism of the Mad Men era, while Alan Watts was busy bringing Eastern philosophy to the West and trying to convince Americans to seek purpose beyond money, a primary school supplement titled How People Earn and Use Money (UK; public library) — from the same Social Studies Program series that gave us How People Live in the Suburbs and How We Use Maps and Globes — set out to explain to children the basics of economic theory and its implications for everyday life.

But far from a mere educational tool, the vibrant vintage primary-color illustrations by artist Jack Faulkner and words by Muriel Stanek capture both the era’s characteristic biases and the naiveté of an overly simplistic view of the market economy — from the gender stereotypes dictating what types of jobs are appropriate for men and women to the blind faith in banks that seems in retrospect a caricature of the recent global recession to the tragic conditioning that work for money alone is the only kind of work.

(The woman speaking with the male credit manager, of course, isn’t there to get a loan for a new business venture, but for a new fridge and stove.)

How People Earn and Use Money, sadly long out of print, was part of a Basic Understanding series of primary school supplements, also including such out-of-print treasures as How People Earn and Use Money, How Farms Help Us, and How Our Government Helps Us.

Donating = Loving

In 2012, bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings took more than 5,000 hours. If you found any joy and stimulation here this year, please consider becoming a Member and supporting with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a fancy dinner:





You can also become a one-time patron with a single donation in any amount:





Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter and people say it’s cool. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s what to expect. Like? Sign up.