Blog Post 2

Throughout the years, graphic designers have been continually pushing the limits on varying ways we can visually communicate information and messages using a variety of visual elements like images, text, medium, etc.; though it is foolish not to acknowledge the importance that the german poster movement Plakatstil would have the future of modern design and advertising.

During the early twentieth century, when art nouveau artists began to reinvent what it meant to use and create posters, many designers and artists throughout Germany were rethinking varying ways to capture attention while still maintaining levels of emotion and mental stimulation for viewers.

Not only can we ponder about the varying ways that Plakatstil began to shape minimalist movements to come due to Sachplakat’s limited and simplistic use of text, image and colour palettes, but we can also view Plakatstil’s immense influence on modern poster design in general, due to placing an immense focus on a main product/image and allowing it to co-exist alongside the text, without one distracting the other, or visa versa.


Though these two posters have varying products, they both still serve the purpose of working as an eye-catching advertisement. Bernhard decides to depict the Manoli cigarettes in a way that is emphasized through size, colour contrast, and through the expression the image gives off. Not only does this allow for the product to be noticed by viewers immediately, but it also allows viewers to develop a sense of appeal to the flashy image of the colourful, organized cigarettes.

It is important to note that Futurama’s use of centralizing main character Bender, in a typical gritty pose with a cigar in his teeth, is both an eye-catching image itself, considering our typical pre-conceived notions on futurism and robotics, ones that perceive robotics as intelligent, polite, self-serving, inanimate; yet we are given an image of an important main character that continually contrasts this throughout the show and through his aesthetic. Whether you have watched this or not, this placement and decision to depict Bender in such a centralized and telling way, allows for viewers to already understand who this character is and their importance to the series. Aside from what can be pulled from the imagery itself, the plakatstil inspired poster truly sells you the main catch of this show, which is audiences most beloved and the show’s most notable character.

Similar to Bernhard’s poster, the main product that draws audiences in is being represented centrally and boldly, through minimal decor, lack of background, and a minimal complimenting text.


Works Cited


Flask, Dominic. “Lucian Bernhard.” Lucian Bernhard : Design Is History,

 “Futurama: Season 5 [DVD] [NTSC]: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Lauren Tom, Matt Groening: DVD & Blu-Ray.” [DVD] [NTSC]: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Lauren Tom, Matt Groening: DVD & Blu-Ray, Amazon,
“Plakatstil Posters.” Plakatstil: The Poster Style, International Poster Gallery,

Design Inspiration

The Psychedelic movement

The Psychedelic movement emerges and developed within the counterculture of the mid-1960s which aimed to resist the accepted social behaviour and attitudes. It had influenced music and many aspects of popular culture such as fashion, language, art and philosophy. The word “psychedelic” refers to a hallucinatory drug like LSD that creates hallucinations, distortions of perception and sometimes psychotic-like behaviour.

Posters and graphic designs for album covers at the time period were usually characterized with vivid, flashy colours, strong contrast, detailed elements and curvilinear calligraphy references to the Art Nouveau. The posters used this kind of visual expression to represent the psychedelic experience while taking hallucinatory drugs, or to induces the experiences under the influence of drugs.

Psychedelic posters reject the rationality and simplicity of the designs before 1965. When posters were always designed to communicate clearly and instantaneously, Psychedelic artists challenged such textual clarity. They adapted handwritten lettering styles that were distorted and almost illegible. They focused on addressing an experience than a literal message. The emerge of the stencilled text reflects the change in poster art and resistance to modern advertising at the time period.

Another feature of Psychedelic work is bright colours. The vivid flashy colour aims to produce retinal responses and reflects drug-addled senses. Also, such colours suggested light-shows which were popular in dance and music concert. Last but not least, Psychedelic design movement often appropriated historicist styles from various artistic precursors, including Art Nouveau and Surrealism.


Bob Masse, United Empire Loyalists, 1968. Poster

We can clearly see the influence of Art Nouveau in the example of Bob Masse’s “United Empire Loyalists”. The poster is an advertisement for a light show dance presented by United Empire Loyalists and Winter Greens. Masse made use of bright neon yellow and green as his primary colours. The lettering is all handwritten and contoured into a unique style that is almost illegible.

Alphonse Mucha, Monaco-Monte-Carlo, 1897. Lithograph.

Alphonse Mucha, Monaco-Monte-Carlo, 1897. Lithograph.

The poster is clearly influenced by the style of Alphonse Mucha and Art Nouveau. Firstly, Masse’s treatment of women and feminine form is very similar to Mucha. The female figures in the poster references to the highly-idealized goddess in Mucha’s posters, such as the woman in “Monaco-Monte-Carlo”. They are both dressing in elegant dress and have a halo around their head. Secondly, both artists paid high attention to details. This can be shown in Masse’s halo and Mucha’s flowers. Thirdly, Masse’s use of long and curvilinear lines and organic matter reference to Mucha’s poster and the Art Nouveau style. Both artists see nature as a source of inspiration. This can be shown in the long and curvilinear stems of the flowers. The use of natural forms, asymmetrical composition, intricate linear design and sinuous, long, organic lines all reference to the Art Nouveau style.

As mentioned earlier in the article, the counterculture aimed to resist accepted social behaviour. The appropriation of Art Nouveau style can be seen as a way to reject modern advertising at the time period which is losing its culture and driving towards universal. The adaption of a previous historical style can be seen as a way to embrace their cultural history.

Although the work reflects influence from the Art Nouveau and Alphonse Mucha, the integrative visual and mental experience, vibrant colour palette, unique lettering style give Masse’s poster style a signature look.


Work Cited

Grunenberg, Christoph, et al. Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era. Tate, London; New York;, 2005.

Masters, Robert E. L., and Jean Houston. Psychedelic Art. Grove Press, New York, 1968.

Montgomery, Scott B. “Radical Trips: Exploring the Political Dimension and Context of the 1960s Psychedelic Poster.” Journal for the Study of Radicalism, vol. 13, no. 1, 2019, pp. 121-154.

McCormack, Heather. High Art: A History of the Psychedelic Poster. vol. 124, Library Journals, LLC, New York, 1999.

“Psychedelic art.” The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide, edited by Helicon, 2018. Credo Reference, Accessed 05 Apr. 2019.




Post-Modern Constructivism

Gustav Klutsis, Under the Banner of Lenin – Socialist Construction 1930


Barbara Kruger – Untitled (Your body is a battleground), 1989, photographic silkscreen

Under the Banner of Lenin was made by Gustav Klutsis as a source of propaganda for Stalin’s Communist party. He was a Russian Constructivist, inspired by Dadaism. using photomontage and type in a controlled form of chaos. Klutsis was given the job to make propaganda for the Communist party. He used photomontage to glorify the leaders, Lenin and Stalin. Stalin was not very fond of the avant-garde art style, so Klutsis made big strides to appeal to him. Klutsis truly felt that photomontage was the purest form of art that was fit to display the ideals of communist society.

Barbara Kruger was a feminist artist that focused on activism in her work. In the 80s she developed posters as forms of protest and social activism. By converting the language of advertising, dramatic photos with strong slogans, into protest art. Utilizing black and white photography with bold italic Futura font, and red rulers, she explores commentary on gender roles and social power in America.

The agitating methods of Russian Constructivism produce striking imagery that demand to be seen. Kruger’s work takes those striking elements, black and white photography with bold text and bold red accents, as a source of attention grabbing. Her activism is a form of protest where she forces the message to be seen. She follows geometric compositional alignments, grid or diagonal, slightly similar to the style of text placement in constructivism, although not completely similar. The style of the font are visually similar, in their bold and legible style. Kruger is able to take the elements once associated with communist revolution and use them to her advantage to produce forms of striking social activism of the modern era.




The Dada movement or Dadaism was a response to the modern age. It refers to a cultural progression in the visual art sector, music, literature, and theater that protests against the capitalist culture and unjust treatments that resulted from World War 1. It originated in Eastern Europe around 1916, where the movement was characterized by opposing all norms of bourgeois culture and regarded itself as “anti-art” or rejection of tradition. Typography during the Dada movement became a significant part of that time period as Dadaist would go against the norm and reinvent the way type was used.

Kurt Schwitters (1987-1948) is a German graphic designer/artist, who was known to have a great influence in typography during the 20th century. He has an artistic background in collage compositions however, around 1920-30s, Schwitters published a certain periodical or ironic philosophy of art called Merz (a nonsensical term he invented). It mainly used design and typography to deliver commercial culture and relationship with art and everyday life as the publication’s major subjects. One of Schwitters’s most recognizable typographic works, Merz no. 11, 1924 from the Merz Magazine series, delivers a diverse range of art forms and was a representation of different avant-garde networks.

The composition consists of integration between typography and layout. The Merz no. 11 uses many different fonts that were punctuated in unconventional ways as well as integrated random letters/ symbols throughout the page. Use of extreme hierarchy was evident as very heavy use of capital- lowercase, condensed, and light-semi-bold type is seen in his work. Schwitters had horizontal and vertical prints on the same paper, composed indifferently in any direction. The visual impact showcased abstract layouts in the orientation and irregular print patterns bringing one’s attention to the piece. The choice of colour also affected the aesthetics of his work as the use of the colour red makes a bold statement against the black, creating character and contrast to certain texts. His works at that time had little impact during the Dada era however later influenced future generations of graphic designers.


Wolfgang Weingart (1941-present) is a German graphic designer, typographer, and influential teacher categorized in Swiss typography (typography that defies strict grid-based arrangement conventions) and developed the postmodern New Wave or Swiss Punk typography. He is known to challenge the rational order and dogmatic rules of international typographic styles during the late 1960s and create intuitive, expressive typographic experiments. His works relate with poster and cover designs, word spacing and letter spacing, reverse type blocks, different line weights and random and diagonal placements of text/letterforms. Weingart focused on the concept of the design feature having a strong structure and logical composition. The 1971-72, Typographic Signs and Nr. 5, is one of many great pieces from the Typographic Process periodicals that can be compared to that of the Merz poster.

In comparison to the Kurt Schwitters piece, the work of Weingart delivers similar visual context and aesthetic. Both pieces integrate layout and typography to create one dynamic composition. The experimentation in the spacing, overlapping of design/text, and unique typography with different weights and sizes deliver a clean yet formal abstract design. Placements of line and letter give vertical, horizontal, and diagonal compositions that provide different linear directions. His use of structure is quite simililar to the Merz no. 11, where the organiziation of the typesetting follows irregular patterns. The Typographic Signs and Nr. 5 delivers a minimal design with a monochromatic pallet throughout the series, opposite from the bright red colours in the Merz poster.

It is evident that Dadaist typography paved a direction to the design compositions of Swiss typography. Both pieces are from different art movements but carry the same objective in breaking away or developing the form and layout of typography in graphic design.

Works Cited

“Dada Movement Overview and Key Ideas.” The Art Story,

Eskilson, Stephen. Graphic Design: A New History. Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn, 2012.

Polano, Sergio, and Pierpaolo Vetta. ABC of 20th-Century Graphics. Electa architecture, Milan, 2003.

“Weingart, Wolfgang (b. 1941).” The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Graphic Design and Designers, Alan Livingston, and Isabella Livingston, Thames & Hudson, 3rd edition, 2012. Credo Reference, Accessed 01 Apr. 2019.


Design Inspiration – DADAISM

Hoch, Hannah. Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany. 1919. Print, 44 9/10 × 35 2/5 in. Artsy.

Hoch, Hannah. Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany. 1919. Print, 44 9/10 × 35 2/5 in. Artsy.

Cunningham, Matt. Neighborhood Watch. 2018. Print, 8 x 10 in. Kyo Gallery.

Cunningham, Matt. Neighborhood Watch. 2018. Print, 8 x 10 in. Kyo Gallery.

Taking advantage of the assignment, it seems like a good time to appreciate how Dadaism has been influencing the works of my favourite graphic designers and also my works as an illustrator/ graphic designer wannabe. The works that can brilliantly represent early Dadaism are probably “The Fountain” by Marcel Duchamp and “Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany” by Hannah Hoch. The method of creating Dada work is using ready-made materials to recreate them, manipulate them and produce something new that can convey a concept just as wholesome as any other method, be it painting, drawing, or sculpting…( Tate ). Dadaism questions the value of everything artistic and questions the norm of crafting. From what I’ve learned, the way to spot out a Dada work is the use of collage, ready-made materials such as photographs, cut-out typeface, magazines,… and combine them with the artist’s own touch. Additionally, Dadaism was born in a terribly depressing time, World War I and used as a tool to defy society standard as well as the brutality and violence of war, the insanity of the majority (Moma).

Through that understanding of Dadaism, the chosen modern work is a clear evident of how Dadaism has made its way through history and influence current time graphic design work. As mentioned, a clear method of Dadaism is ‘recycling’ ready-made materials and turn them into a new piece of work with the style of the designer. As we look at the modern work “Neighborhood Watch” by Matt Cunningham (also known as Moon Patrol), the use of ready-made materials are selective and with the advancement of technology. Cunningham is able to manipulate the pieces and put them together in a convincing way, ‘tricking’ the audience into thinking that the collage materials were actually made by one person. And that, is the brilliant part of Dadaism. Despite of being a graphic designer in modern time, Cunningham still put in the effort to appreciate the vintage look of beige, old and worn out looking papers and colours. Hannah Hoch’s work has its own vintage, saturated beige colour coming off of the cut-outs. Compared to Cunningham’s work, he tends to go for a cleaner, more organized and cohesive look, thus the effort of harmonies all the materials so satisfyingly smooth. However, Cunningham only selectively gather cut out imageries to create his work but choose to create the typeface by himself. Nonetheless, this is an obvious demonstration of how Dadaism has been evidently influence modern time graphic designers aggressively, even if the designers choose to outsource read-made letters or create them by themselves. Dadaism has proved to be relevant and effective to convey modern concepts as well as challenging social norms and standards. 

Works Cited:

Hoch, Hannah. Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany. 1919. Artsy, Accessed 05 April 2019.

Cunningham, Matt. Neighborhood Watch. 2018. Kyo Gallery, Accessed 05 April 2019.

“World War I and Dada”, Moma, Accessed 05 April 2019.

“Ready Made”, Tate, Accessed 05 April 2019.

Design Inspiration: Bauhaus


Joost Schmidt, Bauhaus Exhibition poster, Weimar, 1923

Joost Schmidt was a teacher at the Bauhaus School, known for establishing the Bauhaus movement. The school sought to embrace the new interest in modern technology to have buildings, design, and furniture be created in a useful but thoughtful way. The Bauhaus School commonly used the phrase “form follows” function to describe their philosophy, in other words, the form had to reflect the function of the design. Messages should not be thrown away over design choices. In terms of graphic design, the designers at the school favoured linear and geometrical imagery over floral or curvilinear decorations as it was distracting from the form. Type was typically arranged horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Typefaces were simplified for easier legibility in comparison to the heavy rendering of the standard German type at that time. Lower and upper cases types should also not be combined in a singular piece. They also favoured sans-serif fonts.

Schmidt was most recognized for his poster of the 1923 Bauhaus Exhibition in Weimar, Germany. This poster exhibits all the characteristics of a Bauhaus poster. The type is arranged diagonally along with other parallel or perpendicular rectangular forms that guide the viewer’s eyes across the page to read the information. Schmidt uses a simplified font with all the letters being capitalized. Font size varies but it ends up organizing the information effectively. Although he uses some circles and text around it, it flows harmoniously into the rectangles. The circles are still geometric shapes. The use of geometric shapes is reflective of a shift in philosophy from “art meets craft” to “art meets machine” the Bauhaus school was going through in the early 20th century. The geometric shapes and machine forms indicate the industrialization and innovative happening at the time. The high contrast colour palette and diagonal lines give intensity to the poster.


Barack Obama Berlin Speech poster, 2008

When Barack Obama visited Berlin during his presidential campaign to deliver a speech, a poster was created that was very much influenced by Schmidt’s poster. The text is arranged diagonally along with rectangular forms that divide the information into subsections. The type is a simplified sans-serif font, and the designer makes use of contrasting type sizes to organize information hierarchically. The designer uses “form allows function” effectively by excluding any unnecessary elements. As opposed to Schmidt’s poster, everything is placed diagonally in the Obama poster that creates a more striking poster, suitable for a political piece. The colour palette is much brighter, reflective of modern tastes, but it is still limited. There is strong contrast between the background and the portrait of Obama to draw viewer’s attention. The portrait of Obama also directs the viewers’ eyes on a focus to limit any competing elements that could distract.

We can see how Schmidt’s use of the Bauhaus philosophy has influenced the design of the Barack Obama Berlin poster through simplified type, geometrical forms, and diagonal text. In fact, influence from the Bauhaus movement can be seen throughout most graphic design work today. The Bauhaus movement has offered an effective way for graphic designers to organize information.

Works Cited

“Joost Schmidt (Bauhaus).” Art Movement Poster Work, 4 Feb. 2014,

Lekach, Maya. “Know Your Design History: The Bauhaus Movement.” 99designs, 99designs, 7 Mar. 2019,

Seidman, Steven. “Communication Management and Design.” Ithaca College, 28 Aug. 2008,

Walker, Alex, and Simone Sala. “Nailing the Detail: Bauhaus Design Principles.” SitePoint, SitePoint, 8 Dec. 2014,

Of Women for Women; a Design Inspiration


Alphonse Mucha, La Dame aux Camélias, 1896

Alphonse Mucha, La Dame aux Camélias, 1896

Alphonse Mucha was a graphic designer who became a prominent figure of the Art Nouveau movement, a movement of which the use of an idealized, goddess like female figure was a key aspect in selling a product or service (Thompson 160). The use of such an idealized woman can be seen here in the piece La Dame aux Camélias, in which (based on the text), Mucha is advertising an actress named Sarah Bernhardt as she plays the role of the ‘dame’ at the ‘Theatre de la Renaissance’. What can be seen here is Mucha’s use of representing Bernhardt in this idealized way in order to bring attention to her role and draw in prospective customers to the theatre to see her performance.

So, how has this piece inspired post modern works?

Artist unknown, Let the Sunshine In album cover, 1969

Artist unknown, Let the Sunshine In album cover, 1969

What can be seen here is the album cover for Let the Sunshine In, released by The Supremes in 1969. This album cover shows several stylistic choices that reveal it to be an inspiration of Mucha’s work. The focal point of the piece is a woman, framed in the same sort of ornamented arch way that Mucha has employed in his piece. The inclusion of floral elements around the women also shows a connection to Mucha, adding a sort of femininity to both pieces. The treatment of line and colour with imagery and text are also shared, with both designs using heavy contoured outlines to define shapes and filling them in with flat colours with hints of gradient in some areas. Finally, the colour palettes of both pieces lean towards more warm, earthy tones, with oranges and purples being the more vibrant colours of both pieces. Recognizing all these similarities shows a clear inspirational link between these designs.

So what is the intent of this inspiration? Well, just in the same way that Mucha has used his work to present an idealized image of a real woman to advertise her artistry, The Supremes are being represented in the same idealistic manner (albeit unequally as Diana Ross dominates the centre as a full body figure) on this cover to sell the same sort of ‘goddess’ image of them as musical artists. Even if one were not to know the works of Mucha, the vibe he has made in his work to represent Bernhardt in this highly feminine, extravagant way translates well into the future with this album cover, as the viewer is left viewing these women in the same ornatetly fanciful way. As such, the inspiration of Mucha’s work is used effectively to present a similar theme in representing real life women in divine way, in order to draw in the attention of viewers who seek to see more of these figures.

Works Cited

Thompson, Jan. “The Role of Woman in the Iconography of Art Nouveau.” Art Journal, vol. 31, no. 2, 1971, pp. 160.


Design Inspiration- Swiss Style

swiss-style ss1

Design Inspiration

Swiss Design, also known as International Style, is a graphic design movement, emerged in Russia, Germany, and the Netherland; and popularised in Switzerland 1950s and 1960s. The Swiss Style is known for its minimalism, use of sans serif fonts, asymmetry, use of grid systems, geometric and uniform organisation, and other characteristics (What is Swiss Design, 2018).  The minimal, modern look Swiss Style rejects the unnecessary and extra messages; it focuses on the clarity and objectivity of the message being sent. The Swiss Design promotes images that reflect the objective situation, and not abstract or illustrative images (Golec,87). The edit of information in Swiss Design is clearly selected and presented.

Swiss Style as a graphic design movement has a very big impact on the development of graphic design, to the whole design industry later on. It made a particular big impact on modern website design. Its uniformed organisation of information is straightforward, clear, this influences modern web design’s organisation of information in terms of its “usability” (Lessons from Swiss Style Graphic Design,2009).

In these provided two images, it is clear how the first image inspired the second one. The first image is a political poster called 3 Liberale Partei, designed by Karl Gerstner in 1959. The second image, is a poster from a collection called Gravat Poster by Spanish designer Quim Marin, done in 2014. In Gerstner’s poster, the Swiss Design characteristics quite clear. The use of colour is limited to three, the poster is clearly divided into three sections, including background, the left and the right. This minimalistic design makes sure to present the viewer with all the necessary information the designer intended for them to learn from the poster, and nothing but that. The information in this poster is organised by grid system- the “3” and the texts form a vertical grid system while the texts themselves are a horizontal grid system. The sans serif typeface used in the text also marks its use of Swiss Style. The use of white space, another Swiss Design characteristic is also showing in this poster. This use of white space effectively let the texts “breathe”. The use of white space not only improve the readability of this poster, but also creates a sense of invite. In the second poster, the clear use of grid systems, prominent use of white space, clear and structured organisation of information in sans serif typeface all mark the heavy influence of the Swiss Style. However, we see the touch of more a modern twist on using imagery in this poster where the contemporary effect on the photograph is added. This creates a post-modern atmosphere, and a lively emotion, which is rather not strictly objective. However, because of the limited colour pallet, large use of white space. The photograph and the rest of the poster are balanced nicely.


Work Cited

  1. “What Is Swiss Style Typography?” 1stWebDesigner, 31 May 2018,
  2. Golec, Michael J. “A Review Essay.” Design Issues, vol. 24, no. 2, 2008, pp. 84–88. JSTOR,
  3. “Lessons From Swiss Style Graphic Design.” Smashing Magazine, 17 July 2009,
  5. Gerstner, Karl. “Karl Gerstner. 3 Liberale Partei: Liste 3. 1959 | MoMA.” The Museum of Modern Art,



Design Inspiration–Dada

Triststan Tzara, Salon Dada poster Paris, 1921

Triststan Tzara, Salon Dada poster Paris, 1921

Jamie Reid, God Save the Queen Sex Pistols record cover, 1977

Jamie Reid, God Save
the Queen Sex Pistols record cover, 1977


Punk borrowed some of the concepts from Dada movement. First, they shared a similar intention. Both of their themes are about rebellion. Dada expressed the rebellion against the war and traditional aesthetic. For punk, designers rebelled against the traditional values which response to the social crisis and conflict in the 1970s (Crossley 90). These two movements are both a nihilistic approach that questioned the value of art and society. Hence, because of the similar social background, Punk artists and designers used Dada as a reference to create their new movement. Besides, they use the same techniques. Collage is used in both posters. Letters were cut out from different existed printed matters and pasted onto the poster. There are a variety of typographic structures such as different fonts, sizes,  weights and so on. Letters are scattering around rather than sitting on the same baseline. The rejection to use the traditional typography and follow the norm create an expression of freedom. Overall, the two movements share lots of similarities, since Punk is inspired by Dada movement.



Crossley, Nick. “Pretty Connected: The Social Network of the Early UK Punk Movement.” Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 25, no. 6, Nov. 2008, pp. 89–116, doi:10.1177/0263276408095546.

Design Inspiration of Henri Privat-Livemont and Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau is a style of decorative art, prominent from the 1890s to 1920s in Western Europe and USA. Characterized by linear designs and flowing curves based on natural forms and an ‘earthy’ colour palette.

2026117_partage_plus_providedcho_museu_nacional_d_art_de_catalunya_000554_c .                          Henri Privat-Livemont’s “’Henry a la Pensee’ c.1980     

                         Diana Ross & The Supremes – Let the Sunshine Vinyl Cover

The piece which is an example of this historical style is Henri Privat-Livemont’s “’Henry a la Pensee’ c.1980, which inspires the post modern example of Diana Ross & The Supremes – Let the Sunshine vinyl cover. Cleary influenced by Alphonse Mucha, Henri reached fame for his unique posters, often made for casinos and theatre. The piece uses a natural colour palette depicting a woman to advertise an upcoming show. For the vinyl cover of Diana Ross and The Supremes, a similar use of an earthly colour palette but warmer tones. It showcases Diana and the Supremes with a distinct contrast between the 50s, prim style, and the 60s, which dives into experimentation with the type.

The reasoning why the early design served as a source of influence was because of a characteristic of Art Nouveau. The belief that all art work should work in harmony with one another. It is one approach to simply reference a past piece of art work but to combine that with music, specifically a well known artist, is putting the belief into action. An additional reasoning behind why the earlier design serves as a source of inspiration was how a woman was placed as the main focus of the design. Art Nouveau artists and designers depicted women in highly idealized, feminine and seductive forms. Playing an influential role in determining how the public perceived women. Diana Ross and the Supremes are doing just this but in the modern era. By playing an inspirational role in changing racial perceptions, specifically woman, thus influencing performers in future years.

The artist represents the earlier design by mimicking characteristics of the original piece and Art Nouveau. The first being the use of natural forms. This is seen by the organic motifs surrounding the female figures. In Henry a la Pensee surrounding the large text and toward the bottom on ether side of the figure. In the Vinyl cover, wrapping around Diana in the centre from head to toe, and the supremes on the outer edges of there faces. The focus on nature is evident in the prints. Not only does the artist represent the female form similar to the original but surround the figure with linear based designs. The similar arch above the woman in Henry a la Pensee is replicated around Diana, but with a rounded arch. The visuals are both using very muted earthy tones as well as psychedelic look, specifically in the typography. The unique display type and lettering draws attention yet works along side the linear based designs, referencing the art nouveau popular revival of the 1960.

Overall, it is clear from the design elements of Henri Privat-Livemont’s “’Henry a la Pensee’ c.1980, such as the subject of the woman, linear based design elements and unique display type, that it was an example of art nouveau which inspired the Diana Ross & The Supremes – Let the Sunshine vinyl cover.

Works Cited

Graphic Design Styles

Bhatti, Faizan, and Faizan Bhatti. “Graphic Design Styles.” Medium, Medium, 2 Nov. 2017

Five Example of Post Modern Graphic Design

Grace. “Five Examples of Post-Modern Graphic Design.” Five Examples of Post-Modern Graphic Design, 1 Jan. 1970,

Looking back to Look Forward

Terry Hemphill. “Looking Back to Look Forward: Illustration Styles of the Past 30 Years.” Create, Adobe Create, 10 Mar. 2017

The Influence of Art History on Modern Design

Adriana Marinica. “The Influence of Art History on Modern Design: Art Nouveau.” PIXEL77, 30 May 2016

Shovava, and Shovova. “Vintage Posters of the Art Nouveau Movement From the Turn of the Century.” My Modern Met, 3 Oct. 2017