Next week, we'll be installing a new exhibition to coincide with Birmingham City University's hosting of the international VisionPlus conference on information design at Parkside on 2nd - 4th September. To mark the occasion, Visual Communication lecturer Caroline Archer has selected sixteen posters produced between 1926 and the 1950s for a range of different companies including Shell, ROSPA and London Transport.
Caroline has chosen 'Good art is good business' as her theme. Many of the posters were commissioned by Frank Pick, who worked for London Transport from 1906 until his retirement in 1940. Their posters were often intended to encourage extra leisure journeys in off-peak periods, when many of the company’s buses and trains would otherwise have been lying idle. Pick experimented continually with new approaches to design. The artists who worked for him were given considerable artistic freedom as he believed this would be good for business. Many of them, whilst not automatically associated with commercial art, found a wider audience through the medium and went on to become famous names in British contemporary art.
Have you ever considered designing posters? If so, why not take an opportunity to visit the exhibition? Or come along to the Art & Design Archives to see our sizeable collection of more than 500 examples?