Sunday, August 5, 2012

Gilbert Lesser: a shout-out 1959 style

“P.T. Barnum-sized modern type designed by Gilbert Lesser (1935-1990).”[1]
A 1959 ad for Fortune Magazine.

This early work from 1959 by graphic designer Gilbert Lesser indicates the strong influence of mid-twentieth century Swiss Object Posters. The so-called “Object Posters” are usually characterized by a single over-sized object symbolic image combined with typography. Incitement by image was normally the objective.

Like the Swiss Modernists, Lesser uses a typographic grid implied by the truck trailer and bold sans serif fonts to make a statement. Added to this, the word “Survey” is divided according to its syllables for visual and aural emphasis yet helps maintain an orderly and unified structure. The combination of black and white photography with bold and stacked typographic elements signals a post-war marketplace entering the era of mass media.

  1. Ettenberg, Eugene M. “Graphic Arts: U.S.A.” American Artist June 1962: 111. Print.

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