May 21, 2018

The iconic film posters of Bill Gold

American graphic designer Bill Gold, who created posters for hundreds of Hollywood’s most renowned films, died aged 97 on May 20th, 2018, in Greenwich, Connecticut.

One of America’s most successful poster designers began his career at the age of 20, after graduating from an illustration and design course at Pratt Institute. Gold got a job in the poster department in the New York office of Warner Bros, and his first two projects were for the hugely successful 1942 films Yankee Doodle Dandy and Casablanca (both won various Academy Awards).

Casablanca poster Bill Gold

Gold enlisted in the army for WWII, where he created training films for the Air Corps. When the war was over, he rejoined Warner Bros., heading west to the Warner lot in LA. Just a few years later, in 1962, he returned to New York to start Bill Gold Advertising. He defined the genre of movie poster advertising in a career that spanned more than 70 years. Platoon, Deliverance, The Exorcist, A Clockwork Orange, Unforgiven, Bullitt, Bonnie and Clyde, Dog Day Afternoon, The Sting — just a few of the many films he designed for.

Klute poster Bill Gold

The Exorcist poster Bill Gold

A Clockwork Orange poster Bill Gold

Platoon poster Bill Gold

In the late 70s he concentrated more on his work with Clint Eastwood, and by the mid 80s dedicated all his time to the partnership. From Dirty Harry to Mystic River, and coming out of retirement to work on J Edgar in 2011, the result was a five-decade collaboration between the two.

Dirty Harry poster Bill Gold

Unforgiven poster Bill Gold

“I don’t know what it is that first causes a person to become interested in a film — whether it’s the cast, or whether it’s the title, or whether it’s that first image,” Mr Eastwood said in presenting The Hollywood Reporter’s lifetime achievement award to Mr. Gold in 1994. “I believe it is a combination of all of these. That’s the creative part of poster work — that image and what it does and how it affects an audience.”

Quoted from The New York Times obituary.

Bill Gold self portrait 1972

Bill Gold, self portrait, 1972.

Bill Gold. 1921–2018.

June 28, 2017

The posters of Abram Games

Abram Games was one of the 20th century’s great graphic designers, and the only person in army history to be given the title of Official War Poster Artist.

Abram Games No Smoking posterAnti-smoking poster, unpublished, 1970.

In a career spanning more than 60 years, Abram produced some of Britain’s most memorable images and designs, for a client list that included the United Nations, London Transport, British Airways, Shell, the Financial Times, and Guinness. He designed stamps for Britain, Jersey, and Israel, book jackets for Penguin, and emblems for the Festival of Britain and the Queen’s Award for Industry.

Abram Games London Underground posterLondon Transport: A Train Every 90 Seconds, 1937.

By the time he was called up for army service in 1940, 24 of his posters had been published, and after a year in the infantry he was posted to Whitehall to work in an attic studio, producing maps, book covers, insignias, and more than 100 posters. In 1942, upon promotion to Captain, he was appointed Official War Poster Artist.

Abram Games ATS posterJoin the ATS, 1941.

Abram Games Use Spades Not Ships posterUse Spades, Not Ships, 1942.

Demobilised in 1946, Abram resumed his freelance career, working in a studio entirely alone and taking responsibility for every aspect of his designs from conception to print.

Abram Games See Britain by Train posterSee Britain by Train, 1951.

Abram Games Freedom from Hunger posterUnited Nations: Freedom from Hunger, 1962.

His influence crossed over to TV when he created the BBC’s first on-screen ident, also known as the “bat’s wings” (below, with original music by the late harpist Sidonie Goossens).

Abram Games

Abram Games was awarded the OBE in 1958 and appointed a Royal Designer for Industry in 1959.

High quality poster reproductions are available from King & McGaw and

Designing the 20th Century, Jewish Museum
On Wikipedia

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It’s All Our Blood, by Harry Pearce

On August 6th, 1945, twin atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing between 300,000 and 900,000 people.

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Guinness Extra Cold posters

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June 28, 2012

The Tate Gallery by Tube

Reportedly the best-selling poster in The London Transport Museum Shop.

The Tate Gallery by Tube poster

A fantastic poster created by David Booth some 25 years ago, where the paint tube shows the name (Pimlico) and location of the tube station nearest the Tate Britain.

"My 'Old Faithful' has always been a great door opener, conversation starter, (and job getter) and I'm proud and delighted it's appeal has not dwindled over the years as it approaches its 25th anniversary. The curator informed me that it had even been a major influence on a second, more recently commissioned poster, the Rorschach Test map by the artist Cornelia Parker."

Quoted from 25 years down the tube, on David Booth's blog.

The original artwork can be seen in the London Transport Museum.

The Tate Gallery by Tube artwork
Artwork photo by yorkshirerambler on Flickr.

The poster's also for sale on for £9.95.

Published by London Underground Ltd, 1986
Printed by Print Processes Ltd
Commissioned by Art on the Underground
Format: double crown
Dimensions: width: 508mm, height: 762mm (20 x 30 inches)

Here's that Rorschach Test tube map by Cornelia Parker in case you were wondering.

Cornelia Parker tube map

Via The Guardian.

November 11, 2011

Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design

The first book to be dedicated to one of the greatest American designers of the twentieth century, produced by Jennifer Bass (Saul's daughter) and Pat Kirkham.

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May 2, 2010

Best use of a shop window postcard space

The finalists for the Chip Shop Awards have been selected. Here are a few entries from the past couple of years in the “best use of a shop window postcard space” category.

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David Airey
Brand identity design

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