Designers in Britain - 1947

Advertising posters
Some things don't change after 60 years; posters advertising the benefits of eating vegetables daily for good health, and a current topic about growing your own food rather than shipping in overseas produce.  

Packaging design - I love the stylish simplicity of the graphics used for the butter and biscuit packaging (no nasty product images, primary colours or gimmicky advertising slogans!)
Beautiful script, fonts and embellishments used in these advertisements for women's shoes and apparel shops 

Decorative fonts
Fabulous examples of current domestic furniture!
Some time ago I picked up two old English design books from a second hand shop .  The books were part of a series about Designers in Britain, compiled by the Society of Industrial Arts in order to review the commercial and industrial design being produced in Britain at the time.

This first book showcases the commercial and industrial design from post-war Britain in 1947 and is divided into themes covering posters, advertising and the media, book illustration and cover jackets, packaging, illustration for publicity, lettering and domestic furniture etc.  It's fascinating to look at the designs and graphic arts from this period - not only for the style of the designs and illustrations, but also what was being advertised and publicised at this particular time. 

I'm also captivated by the hand-drawn aesthetic across all sectors of design.  This was a time before the use of digital photography and desk-top publishing, so pretty much everything was created by hand from scratch.  The majority of posters and advertising material, book jackets and illustrations were all created as hand-drawn artworks.  No CAD technology or digital equipment to speed up the process - but painstakingly created with pen and ink.  However, far from being naive or simplistic, I think the designs created in this style are beautifully decorative and often quite sophisticated in comparison to some of today's commercial design. 


  1. What a great post, Lucy. It's hard to pick a favourite although the 'spades not ships' poster really does it for me.


  2. Thanks Jessica! Yes the 'spades not ships' is a great poster - and so current too!

  3. I agree, 'spades not ships' is like a walk in time. I also love the biscuit packaging. They look pure and homey and trustworthy...hey, anyone want to pay me for some market research. I certainly want some of those digestives.

  4. Lucy, this is a great find. I love the biscuit box designs - I have some similar to these at home. I bought mine from Crabtree & Evelyn last Christmas and they look great with all my pencils and art materials in them. I shall put them on my blog so that you can see them. They are beautiful and they were the reason I bought the biscuits in the first place.

  5. Sorry Lucy .. My post relates to the spice packaging.. But you'll see what I mean, when I post them.