Imre Reiner: Grafika (1947)

Grafika: modern design for advertising and printing (1947)

19/09/11 – Selections from Imre Reiner’s Grafika: modern design for advertising and printing published in New York in 1947. English edition limited to 1000 copies. (more…)

Series of WWII Czechoslovak military heroes (1945)

Staff Captain Ridky, British Army

30/03/11 – Stamp series dedicated to the  Czechoslovak military heroes of World War 2. Series dates from 1945 and consists of 16 unique denominations. (more…)

Czechoslovak independence series by J. Schmidt (1945-7)

Milan Rastislav Štefánik

24/02/11 – Sixteen-part postage stamp series commemorating three key figures of the Czechoslovak independence movement: Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, Edvard Beneš and Milan Rastislav Štefánik. (more…)

Ladislav Sutnar: Build the Town building block set (1943)

"Factory Town" toy prototype, c 1942 by Ladislav Sutnar

21/02/11 – Ladislav Sutnar began designing toys while a student at the School of Applied Arts in Prague in the early 1920s. His use of simple geometric shapes and bright colours resonated with children as well as adults. His designs, though rooted in the rich heritage of Czechoslovak folk art, helped bring toy design into the 20th century. (more…)

The Penguin Poets redesign by Jan Tschichold (1948)

penguin-poets-comp

15/12/10 – Two early examples of titles from the Penguin Poets series: (left) John Overton’s [?] original design of 1946 and (right) Jan Tschichold’s reformed design of 1951. (more…)

A selection of Chicago architectural postcards (1941)

Navy Pier, Chicago [107]

12/12/10 – Small selection of Chicago architectural postcards printed by Curt Teich and Co. in 1941. All postcards have a ‘linen-finish’ and are marked: ‘C.T. Art Colortone’. (more…)

Jan Tschichold’s design for Penguin Scores 1949

Penguin Scores no. 3: 1949

23/11/10 – A selection of examples from the Penguin Scores series designed by Jan Tschichold in 1949. The series used a horizontal version of Penguin’s larger B size with typography set in Garamond and background patterns by Stephen Russ, Elizabeth Friedlander, Barbara Lambourne, and many others. (more…)

The Penguin Classics redesign by Jan Tschichold 1949

The Penguin Classics: 1945 & 1949

25/10/10 – Two early examples of titles from the Penguin Classics series: (left) John Overton’s original design of 1945 and (right) Jan Tschichold’s reformed design of 1949. Both feature circular illustrations (roundels) by William Grimmond. (more…)

Jan Tschichold: Penguin composition rules (1947)

King Penguin standard (detail)

18/10/10 – One of the first tasks Jan Tschichold set upon himself after becoming head typographer for Penguin Books in 1947 was to create the Penguin composition rules, a document outlining the core typographic standards to be practiced across all Penguin publications. (more…)

Jan Tschichold’s redesign for Pelican Books 1949

pelican-compare2_500

11/10/10 – Two examples of early Pelican titles: (left) Edward Young’s original horizontal grid design of 1937 and (right) Jan Tschichold’s reformed design of 1949. (more…)

The Penguin Shakespeare redesign by Jan Tschichold 1949

The Penguin Shakespeare: 1947 & 1949

27/09/10 – The Penguin Shakespeare series: Edward Young’s [?] original design (1938) and Jan Tschichold’s revision (1949). (more…)

Arizona desert postcards of the 1930s & 1940s

The painted desert, Arizona [P.D. 29]
18/06/10 – Small selection of desert-themed postcards from the 1930s and 1940s. All feature the Arizona desert, have a ‘linen-finish’ and are marked: ‘C.T. Art Colortone’. Postcard pictured above entitled: The Painted Desert, Arizona [P.D. 29] (more…)

C.P. Hornung: Handbook of designs and devices (1946)

Handbook of designs and devices (1946)

22/03/10 – A small selection from the 1,836 examples outlined in C.P. Hornung’s Handbook of designs and devices (1946): (more…)

Tatra T600 Tatraplan 1946-7 streamlined automobile

Tatra T600 Tatraplan

23/09/09 – Old toy model of the Tatra T600 Tatraplan automobile designed in 1946-7 in Czechoslovakia by Josef Chalupa, Vladimír Popelář and Hans Ledwinka. The Tatraplan had a monocoque streamlined six-seater saloon body with a drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.32. It was powered by an air-cooled flat-4 cylinder 1,952 cc rear-mounted engine. Only 6,342 were produced. Toy dimensions: 10″x 3.75″ x 3.5″. (more…)

Ladislav Sutnar: Design and paper, number 13 (1943)

Design and paper: number 13
17/07/09 – Selections from Design and paper number 13: controlled visual flow by Ladislav Sutnar, Marquardt and Co., New York (1943). (more…)

Ladislav Sutnar: Design and paper, number 19 (1945)

Design and paper: number 19

16/07/09 – Selections from Design and paper number 19: shape, line and colour by Ladislav Sutnar, Marquardt and Co., New York (1945).

Design and paper was a series of softcover booklets produced by New York paper wholesaler Marquardt and Co. between 1937 and 1952(?). Its production ran quarterly for 39 issues and was printed at a very high standard. The series showcased the finest papers for printers, art directors and others in the printing trade. After number 7, issues were primarily devoted to individual artists and designers. Ladislav Sutnar featured in numbers 13 and 19.

In issue 19, Sutnar gives a brief and illustrative lesson in the use of shape, line and colour for organizing and presenting information. Sutnar’s characteristic style is evident in the bold use of colour, dynamic spreads and organizational signposts.

Issue 19 colophon:
Cover: Crysteel Bristol – High Plate – 22.5 x 28.5 – 200M
Text: Dullbrite White – Substance 25 × 38–70
Plates by Royal-Jones Photo Engraving Corp.

Numbers 13 and 19 were accurately reproduced in 2003 from the collections of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague// by Fraktály Publishers. (more…)

Industrial British Columbia 1946

24/02/09 – Industrial British Columbia 1946: Canada’s magnificent new industrial empire, geared to efficient high quality production, backed by an adequate pool of skilled labor promotional catalogue. Designed and lithographed by The Sun Publishing Company Limited, Vancouver, B. C. Copyright May 15, 1947. Spiral bound 14″ x 10″ with 46 pages.  (more…)

Czech and Japanese matchbox labels

matchbox label book covers
29/01/09 – PIE books, Japan: Cesky Filumenisticky Design (2005) and Japanese Matchbox Label Collection 1920s-40s (2004). Text in Japanese. Maraid’s matchbox labels on flickr//

Calendar illustrations by Czech artist Josef Lada

Josef Lada Calendar: January

08/02/08 – Josef Lada’s calendar illustrations from the 1940s featuring traditional Czech occupations, pastimes and holiday scenes. (Unfortunately, February is missing.) (more…)

Oliver Tomas

  • Design historian and archivist based in Vancouver, Canada.
  • info[at]olivertomas[dot]com