ADVERTISING ARTS, May 1935. Frederick C. Kendall [Editor]; Alexey Brodovitch, Dr. M. F. Agha, Vally Wieselthier, etc.

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May 1935

Frederick C. Kendall [Editor]

Frederick C. Kendall [Editor]: ADVERTISING ARTS. New York: Advertising and Selling Publishing Co., May 1935.  Original edition. Wire-spiral binding. Thick photo illustrated wrappers. 40 pp. Multiple paper stocks and printing effects throughout. Elaborate graphic design and production throughout. Cover Photograph by Josephine von Miklos. Trace of light wear to wrappers, small inked name in upper corner of front wrapper, otherwise very good or better. Rare.

8.5 x 11.5 wire-spiral bound magazine with 40 pages of text and advertisements. "Devoted to the design of advertising, the creation of printing, and the styling of merchandise and packages." -- the Publishers.

Advertising Arts promulgated a progressive design approach (and style) unique to the United States during the early Thirties, called Streamline. Unlike the elegant austerity of the Bauhaus, where economy and simplicity were paramount, Streamline was a uniquely American futuristic mannerism based on sleek aerodynamic design born of science and technology. Planes, trains and cars were given the swooped-back appearance that both symbolized and physically accelerated speed. Consequently, type and image were designed to echo that sensibility, the result being that the airbrush became the medium of choice and all futuristic traits, be they practical or symbolic, were encouraged. The clarion call was to "Make it Modern" -- and "it " was anything that could be designed. – Steven Heller

Contents [Decoration on the page by Vally Wieselthier

  • Towels by Cannon; Nude by Steichen by Charles T. Coiner
  • Decorative Drawings by Vally Wieselthier
  • Re-Packaging a Motor Oil: Designs by Robert Foster
  • Art and Art Directors by Dr. M. F. Agha
  • Eleven Pages of Awards from the 14th Annual Art Directors Exhibition: includes work by Edna Reindel, M. McKinnie, Paul Smith, May Mulvany, Stuart Graves, Roy Collins, E. Melbourne, Robert Fawcett, Edward Steichen and William Strosahl, Virginia Huget, Lejaren A Hiller, Fred Ludekens, Edwin Georgi, Robert Riggs, J. W. Williamson, Alexey Brodovitch, Edward Steichen, Paul Berdanier, Jane Miller, Ervine Meizl, Fred Ludekens, Gray-O'Reilly, and McKenzie
  • Four Photographs by Grand Duchess Marie
  • Salon Designed by Eleanor La Maire
  • Rotor by Nathan George Horwitt
  • Small Space: Ad Design
  • Menus by M. Rosenblum
  • A Unique Display for Bates Designed by Virginia Hamill
  • The "Phoenix Flame," the house organ for the Phoenix Metal Cap Company, Chicago designed by Dale Nichols
  • Georg Salter: Three Pages of Book Jackets

Alexey Brodovitch [1898 – 1971]is a legend in graphic design: during his 25-year tenure as art director of Harper's Bazaar, he exerted tremendous influence on the direction of design and  photography. A passionate teacher of graphic design, advocate of photography and collaborator with many prominent photographers, Brodovitch is often credited with having a major influence on the acceptance of European modernism in America. His use of assymetrical layouts, white space, and dynamic imagery changed the nature of magazine design. He was responsible for exposing everyday Americans to avant-garde artists by commissioning work from cutting-edge artists such as Cassandre, Dali, Cartier-Bresson, Man Ray, etc.

Brodovitch played a crucial role in introducing into the United States a radically simplified, "modern" graphic design style forged in Europe in the 1920s from an amalgam of vanguard movements in art and design. Through his teaching, he created a generation of designers sympathetic to his belief in the primacy of visual freshness and immediacy. Fascinated with photography, he made it the backbone of modern magazine design, and he fostered the development of an expressionistic, almost primal style of picture-taking that became the dominant style of photographic practice in the 1950s.

He came to the United States in 1930 to start a department of advertising (later known as the Philadelphia College of Art). There he trained students in the fundamentals of European design, while embarking on numerous freelance illustration assignments in Philadelphia and New York. In 1934 Carmel Snow, the new editor of Harper's Bazaar, saw his design work and immediately hired him to be its art director. It was the beginning of a collaboration that was to revolutionize both fashion and magazine design, and that catapulted Bazaar past its arch-rival, Vogue.

Throughout his career, he continued to teach. His "Design Laboratory," which focused variously on illustration, graphic design and photography and provided a system of rigorous critiques for those who aspired to magazine work. As a teacher, Brodovitch was inspiring, though sometimes harsh and unrelenting. A student's worst offense was to present something Brodovitch found boring; at best, the hawk-faced Russian would pronounce a work "interesting." Despite his unbending manner and lack of explicit critical standards -- Brodovitch did not formulate a theory of design --many students under his tutelage discovered untapped creative reserves.