Lost Worlds of Graphic Design

Personal computers and the Internet have opened up new worlds for millions of people, but they have also remade or destroyed dozens of professions and made hundreds of specialist skills obsolete. The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies chronicles the items used by professionals in the graphic design and advertising industries. They seem very distant and quaint, but once they were essential tools for serious professionals, and the making of them was an entire industry in itself.

Diamonds are Forever

Our client prospected for diamonds, and even diamond-hunters need a business card. Aside from the usual contact details, he was keen to give the reverse side of his card additional utility as a way of measuring objects and providing scale in photographs. He also intended to use it for jotting notes to include with samples. After ten years of use, he returned for an update and reported that the card/ruler had been very handy.

Pictograms go to the Movies

Remember those endearingly plain pictograms that first gained popularity in the 1970s? Designed to transcend text and communicate simple concepts/commands, pictographs are still a staple of the sign world. Victor Hertz has employed the pictographic vocabulary to amusing effect, creating pictographic posters for a raft of movie classics. Beside the whimsy, it is a very interesting design exercise to be forced to boil a complex idea down to simple iconic image.