Paul, Art: NAPLES [Poster]. Lissone, Italy: Arti Grafiche Meroni, [1985].

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Art Paul [Designer]

Art Paul [Design]: NAPLES. Lissone, Italy: Arti Grafiche Meroni, [1985]. Original impression. 26.5 x 38.5 - inch [67.31 x 97.79 cm] trim size image printed via offset lithography on a semi-gloss sheet. A fine, fresh example.

26.5 x 38.5 - inch [67.31 x 97.79 cm] poster designed by Art Paul “A poster commissioned by Napoli ’99 Foundation as a contribution towards the cultural image of the city.”

The Naples NinetyNine Foundation sponsored a series of 25 posters from 1984 – 1986 with the primary objective of contributing to the knowledge, promotion and enhancement of cultural heritage of Naples and Southern Italy.

The 25 participating designers were Walter Allner, Stuart B. Ash, Saul Bass, Bruce Blackburn, Pierluigi Cerri, Ivan Chermayeff, Giulio Confalonieri, Heinz Edelmann, Gene Federico, Alan Fletcher, Jean-Michel Folon, André François, Milton Glaser, Tomás Gonda, F H K Henrion, David Hillman, Takenobu Igarashi, Mervyn Kurlansky, Italo Lupi, John Mcconnell, Armando Milani, Art Paul, Tullio Pericoli, Arnold Schwartzman, and Massimo Vignelli.

Their interpretations of the city cover a wide range of themes: architecture, poetry, music, the earthquake, pollution, Vesuvius. The 25 posters have been exhibited in Naples, Rome, Los Angeles, Dundee, and Lahti. The project won the award for the best social graphics at the 1987 Lahden Biennal Exhibition. Collect them all!

Arthur "Art" Paul is an American graphic designer and was the founding Art Director of Playboy Magazine for 30 years. During his time at Playboy, he commissioned illustrators and artists to illustrate (Warhol, Dali, and Ronsenquist among them).

In addition to being an art director and graphic designer (in particular of Playboy's rabbit logo), Art Paul is an illustrator, fine artist, curator, writer, and composer. There has been a surge of recent interest concerning both Art's past and present, with recent talks, books, exhibitions, and a documentary being made about him. At 91 years old, he is now putting his drawings and writings into book form, with projects focused on race, aging, animals, and graphic whimsy.

Art Paul was born on January 18, 1925 in the Southwest Side of Chicago, but his family later moved to Rogers Park. There, while attending Roger C. Sullivan High School, an art teacher recognized that he was talented enough to earn a scholarship at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which he attended from 1940-1943. After World War II service in the Army Air Corps, he attended the Institute of Design, known as the "Chicago Bauhaus" and now part of Illinois Institute of Technology, where he studied with László Moholy-Nagy.

"For Paul--student at the Institute of Design, commonly called the Chicago Bauhaus--Playboy was a laboratory for producing a model of contemporary magazine design and illustration...Paul helped create a forum that demolished artistic and cultural boundaries. In doing so, he transformed magazine illustration." --Steven Heller, an American design critic.

Paul was working as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator in a small office on Van Buren Street next to the Chicago 'L' tracks when in 1953 he was contacted by Hugh Hefner. Hefner needed an art director for a magazine he was developing, and learned of Paul through a mutual acquaintance. At the time, Hefner planned to call the magazine "Stag Party." The initial dummy, designed by cartoonist Arv Miller, resembled movie star/screen magazines of the time. Hefner wanted a different, more innovative and sophisticated look. Together, Paul and Hefner created the first issue of Playboy, with Paul creating the look of the magazine.

"I at first hesitated to accept Hugh Hefner's] offer. For as a freelancer I had the best clients one could in Chicago. So I freelanced the first few issues. What convinced me to accept was that I was promised freedom to buy the kind of art most illustrators couldn't sell in 1953, the personal visions that lay closest to their hearts. I told illustrators I don't want 'commercial' art. I want the kind you do to please yourself when you're not trying to get work in a magazine. At first they thought I was kidding. As for fine artists, I convinced them they would not be selling out to work for us but would reach a larger audience with their most authentic work."—Art Paul

The name of the magazine was changed to Playboy shortly before the first issue went to print, after Hefner was threatened with a trademark dispute over the "Stag Party" name. The cartoon mascot designed by Miller, originally intended to be a stag, was quickly changed to a rabbit by replacing the head, although the stag's hoofs remained visible in the altered drawings. The magazine's famous rabbit-head logo with cocked ear and tuxedo bow tie was developed by Paul for Playboy's second issue. Initially intended as an endpoint for articles, Paul sketched the logo in about an hour. Soon, however, the decision was made to use the logo as the symbol of Playboy's corporate identity.

As Art Director, Paul supervised the design of the magazine for 30 years. Early on, he commissioned many local Chicago artists and photographers to illustrate the magazine. These included Franz Altschuler, Leon Bellin who illustrated Playboy’s continuing ‘Ribald Classic’ feature, Roy Schnakenberg, Ed Paschke, Seymour Rosofsky, printmaker Mish Kohn and photographer Arthur Siegel.

During Paul's years at Playboy, the magazine won hundreds of awards for excellence in graphic design and illustration. Paul has been credited for helping create a revolution in illustration (what Print Magazine called the "Illustration Liberation Movement") by insisting that graphic design and illustration need not be "low" arts but could, when approached with integrity and emotional depth, and in a spirit of experimentation, be as "high" an art as any.

After leaving Playboy in 1982, Paul did graphic design, posters, and logos for a number of clients in magazines, advertising, television and film. For the last ten years he has concentrated primarily on drawing and painting, exhibiting most recently at the Chicago Cultural Center and at Columbia College in Chicago. He has served on boards of the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, the Association of Art Curators in Chicago, and the Illinois Summer School of the Arts. At present he is working on two books of his drawings. Paul currently lives in Chicago. Paul was the subject of a talk at the Chicago Humanities Festival on November 1, 2014, given by graphic designer James Goggin, at which Paul and his wife Suzanne Seed were present.

In 1980, Paul was elected a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale. The Institute of Design, IIT, honored him with its professional achievement award in 1983, and in 1986 he was elected to the Hall of Fame of the Art Directors Club.He received the Herb Lubalin Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Publication Designers, and in 2008 was made a Fellow of the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Artists.The Society of Typographic Arts gave him a special award for outstanding achievement in trademark design for the Playboy rabbit head symbol. The Art Directors Club of Boston gave him an award for "inspiring, encouraging, and creating an outstanding showcase for contemporary artists". The Art Directors of Philadelphia awarded him the Polycube Award for "consistent excellence in communications". The City of Milan, Italy, awarded him its Gold Medal for the exhibition, Beyond Illustration. Art Direction Magazine gave Paul the first award in its publishing history for "interest and support of illustration and illustrators and the tremendous range of illustrative styles that run in Playboy magazine. [Wikipedia]