Milan, Italy after World War II, and became a pivotal figure in the remarkable renaissance of Italian post-war graphic design. Huber brought the lessons of Swiss design to leading firms like Olivetti, Pirelli and La Rinascente, where he became the chief graphic designer. His rare poster for Borsalino, Italy's premier hat producer, is playful and serendipitous as well as enigmatic.
Reactions to the rigid canon of the Swiss Style began in the 1960s, gaining momentum by the 1980s. The psychedelic posters of the late 1960s appropriately turned all the rules of Swiss design and the Modernist tradition upside down. This new poster craze drew heavily on the floral excesses of Art Nouveau, the pulsating afterimages of Op-Art, and the bizarre juxtapositions of Surrealism to create an intense, erotic and other-worldly visual experience.
Victor Moscoso was perhaps the most cerebral artist of the period, having studied color theory under Joseph Albers at Yale. His beautiful "Neon Rose" series of 27 posters for the Matrix Club, especially his beautiful Chambers Brothers poster, marks him as one of the first Postmodernists. This poster was visual proof of his design philosophy: "I had been told that lettering should always be legible, so I turned that around to say: Lettering should be as illegible as possible. Another rule was that a poster should transmit its message quickly and simply. So, I said: A poster should hang up as long as possible. Another one is: Do not use vibrating colors; they're irritating to the eyes. So I said: Use vibrating colors as much as possible.”
In addition to gallery shows and special exhibitions, IPG’s award-winning website, www.internationalposter.com, offers the largest, most comprehensive online collection of vintage advertising posters in the world. Launched in 1998, the site now contains nearly 4,500 images accessible through a powerful search engine.
Editor’s Note: • Background, B&W Photos and Color Slides available.
• Support for feature development on poster collecting available.
• Interviews with gallery owner Jim Lapides are encouraged.