ADVERTISING ARTS, March 1933. Frederick C. Kendall [Editor]; Norman Bel Geddes, Gustav Jensen, Joseph Sinel, Egmont Arens, Otis Shephard, Charles T. Coiner, etc.

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March 1933

Frederick C. Kendall [Editor]

Frederick C. Kendall [Editor]: ADVERTISING ARTS. New York: Advertising and Selling Publishing Co., March 1933.  Original edition.  Letterpressed thick perfect bound wrappers. 40 pp. Multiple paper stocks and printing effects throughout. Text and elaborately-produced advertisements. Cover design by Joseph Sinel. Neat ink name in upper forecorner of upper wrapper, small chips at spine ends, otherwise a very good copy. Rare.

8.5 x 11.5 perfect 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

  • Color Photograph by Anton Bruehl.
  • Towards Design by Norman Bel Geddes.
  • Package Parade by Roy Shedon. Features Packaging by Simon De Vaulchier, Paul Ressinger, Vaughan Flannery, Gustav Jensen, Etc.
  • Waxide Paper Printed Insert Designed by Egmont Arens.
  • Three Pages of Wrigleys Posters Designed by Otis Shephard.
  • Script by Charles T. Coiner.
  • Modern Book Windows in Germany by Karl Kup.
  • Printed Insert Designed by Trafton.
  • How Will It Look in the Window? by Herschell Deutsch.
  • Photoplasticgrams by Howard Lester.
  • New Materials in Products and Packaging.
  • Station WCAU in Philadelphia designed by Robert Heller and photographed by William Rittase.
  • A Display Stand that Combines Art and Merchandise.

Norman Bel Geddes [1893 – 1958] was the first person to seriously apply the concepts of aerodynamics and streamlining to industrial design. To Geddes, streamlining illustrated courage: "We are too much inclined to believe, because things have long been done a certain way, that that is the best way to do them. Following old grooves of thought is one method of playing safe. But it deprives one of initiative and takes too long. It sacrifices the value of the element of surprise. At times, the only thing to do is to cut loose and do the unexpected! It takes more even than imagination to be progressive. It takes vision and courage. "

Bel Geddes expounded a philosophy of "essential forms" evolved from their systems of use. He helped to establish a new professional niche -- that of "industrial designer," arguing for a closer relationship between engineering and design.

"When you drive on an interstate highway, attend a multimedia Broadway show, or watch a football game in an all-weather stadium, you owe a debt of gratitude to Norman Bel Geddes. Bel Geddes was both a visionary and a pragmatist who had a significant role in shaping not only modern America but also the nation's image of itself as leading the way into the future. Bel Geddes was a polymath who had no academic or professional training in the activities he mastered—designing stage sets, costumes, and lighting; creating theater buildings, offices, nightclubs, and houses; and authoring prescient books and articles.

"Bel Geddes believed that art, as well as architecture and design, could make people's lives psychologically and emotionally richer. He influenced the behavior of American consumers and helped make industrial and theater design into modern businesses. Believing that communication was key to shaping the modern world, Bel Geddes popularized his vision of the future through drawings, models, and photographs. Of his utopian predictions, Bel Geddes's best-known project was the Futurama exhibit in the General Motors "Highways and Horizons" pavilion at the 1939–1940 New York World's Fair. It was an immense model of America, circa 1960, seen by 27,500 visitors daily who exited with a pin proclaiming "I Have Seen the Future." -- The Harry Ransom Center

Joseph Claude Sinel [1889 – 1975] was born in Auckland, New Zealand where his father ran a stevedoring operation. He attended the Elam School of Art, then started work as an apprentice in the art department of Wilson & Horton Lithographers, working at the New Zealand Herald from 1904-1909 and studying under Harry Wallace. After a stint in England, he returned to New Zealand and Australia working as a freelance designer, then moved to San Francisco in 1918, where he first worked in advertising, then in 1923 started his own industrial design company in New York City. In 1936, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sinel claimed to have designed everything from "ads to andirons and automobiles, from beer bottles to book covers, from hammers to hearing aids, from labels and letterheads to packages and pickle jars, from textiles and telephone books to toasters, typewriters and trucks." Although he is perhaps best remembered for his designs of industrial scales, typewriters, and calculators, he also designed trademarks for businesses such as the Art Institute of Chicago, created book jackets for Doubleday, Knopf, and Random House, and for many years designed publications for Mills College. He taught design in a number of schools in the United States, and in 1955 became one of the fourteen founders of the American Society of Industrial Designers (which later merged with other organizations to form the Industrial Designers Society of America).

Sinel is sometimes said to have coined the term "industrial design" around the 1920s in the USA. Sinel denied the paternity of this term in an interview in 1969. "... that's the same time [1920] that I was injecting myself into the industrial design field, of which it's claimed (and I'm in several of the books where they claim) that I was the first one, and they even say that I invented the name. I'm sure I didn't do that. I don't know where it originated and I don't know where I got hold of it."

Charles T. Coiner [1898 – 1989] an acclaimed painter and art director for advertising agency A.W. Ayer & Son, is also remembered for addressing the needs of the U.S. government with innovative graphic design. His pioneering efforts to seek out and commission modern artists including Pablo Picasso, Ben Shahn, Edward Steichen, and Miguel Covarrubias, and to introduce their work to advertising resulted in some of the most memorable campaigns of the mid-20th century. As a designer of war posters, civilian defense logos, and the Blue Eagle symbol of the National Recovery Administration under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Coinerπs influence extended well beyond the world of commerce.

A 40-year association with the Philadelphia-based agency A.W. Ayer & Son began in 1924 when Coiner was hired as a layout designer. He quickly advanced to art director and became vice president in charge of the department in 1936. The campaigns he supervised, such as those for the Container Corporation and DeBeers, were distinguished by their inspired use of fine art and their modern sensibility. During this period he also hired some of the leading graphic designers of the next generation such as Leo Lionni and Alexey Brodovitch.

In 1933 Coiner was asked to design a symbol for the National Recovery Administration, the federal agency created to encourage industrial recovery and combat unemployment. His Blue Eagle design, that he sketched on a flight to Washington D.C., was displayed by businesses all across the U.S. and as its much publicized creator, Coiner became something of a household name.

In 1949 Coiner was the first to receive the annual award of the National Society of Art Directors for "distinction in the practice of his profession."

"It is Coiner's force of personality, as well as his talent and discernment that has enabled him to help revolutionize advertising design in America, to bridge the chasm that once separated modern 'pure' art from commercial art, and to have won Ayer more than 20% of the advertising art awards bestowed over the past 20 years." — Portfolio, Summer 1950