Swiss graphic designer, Lora Lamm

By: Gillian Reyes

Lora Lamm is a Swiss graphic designer best known for her 10 years of work when she lived in Milan during the post-war years from 1953 to 1963 after finishing her studies in Zurich, Switzerland.  During her time there, she found her own unique style by combining both Milanese and Swiss influences and design principles into her work. She did plenty of commissions designing posters, packaging and invitations for big brands, such as the La Rinascente, Pirelli and Elizabeth Arden, etc. in Milan.

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Her style seems optimistic and colourful, executed by the use of typography, illustration, collage and photography. She was free to conduct experiments in her design, hence the use of different typography in each of her work, ranging from sans serifs, grotesques, and to Bodoni and other serifs.  Her composition of having both a message and an image is very powerful since it “serves the purpose of communicating clearly and elegantly, with optimism and humour” (“A breath of fresh air”). Apparently, her Pirelli and La Rinascente employers at the time stated that her style is “a reflection of [her] own personality” (“A breath of fresh air”).

During her stay in Milan in post-war years, a design revolution took place between the Italians and the Swiss. Big companies and businesses like the  Pirelli, La Rinascente, Olivetti, Necchi and many others were open to experimentation in advertising as a result of the growing economy after WWII. They hired Swiss and Italian designers who brought forth unique designs that resulted from experiments and friendly competitions. Lora Lamm was one of the designers who stood out despite being in a “male-dominated creative atmosphere.” Berta F., a writer from the Pendulum Magazine, describes her views on designing: “She understood advertising is much more than just selling a product; it is mutual recognition between brand and public. It is also a dialogue, and she engaged – she still engages – in it with one very simple tool: proximity.” Due to this, she produced many advertisements with clear and concise compositions and messages that were understood by the audience.

Even with her accomplishments, she was written out of graphic design history books. One reason may have been because she distanced herself from other designers. Lora Lamm, herself, said, “I was working for Rinascente by day, and working for other clients by night; on holidays I went back to the Alps. Also, it was not easy in the 1950s for a young, single, foreign girl to join a crowd of male friends for bar evenings and design banter” (“A breath of fresh air”). Another reason could be that the AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale), a club of the world’s graphic designers, refused her membership.

Regardless, she is content with just being a good designer. When she went back to Switzerland, she resumed her career as a graphic designer, but stopped using the style she used in Milan since she felt that it was time to move on. Her past works will continue to be personal for her as it reflects the design revolution that took place in Milan.

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References

F, Berta. “SWISS GRAPHIC DESIGN || Finding Lora Lamm.” Pendulum Magazine, Pendulum Magazine, 22 Sept. 2017, www.pendulummag.com/art/2017/9/21/swiss-graphic-design-finding-lora-lamm.

“A breath of fresh air.” Eye Magazine | Feature | A Breath of Fresh Air, www.eyemagazine.com/feature/article/a-breath-of-fresh-air.

The Story Behind Pink Floyd’s album, “The Dark Side of the Moon”

Album covers serve the purpose of advertising music created by a band or singer, but there are some iconic designs that stood out among other albums.  One of them is Pink Floyd’s album, “The Dark Side of the Moon” designed by Storm Thorgerson, which was released in March 1, 1973.

Image result for the dark side of the moon

Storm Thorgerson was a significant figure in the graphic design industry, mainly for his album covers. He was one of the first to consider album art as a concept. Rather than having the band or singer as part of the cover, he wanted to “encapsulate in art what bands were trying to say in their music” (Chilton). Thorgerson himself even questioned, “If you were trying to present an emotion, or a feeling, or an idea, or a theme, or an obsession, or a perversion, or a preoccupation, when would it have four guys in it?” With the power of photography, he was able to include surrealistic elements into his work, bringing uniqueness to each design. This style was suitable during the classical rock era and many bands were “keen on overblown and fantastical album covers” created by him (Chilton).

Pink Floyd was one of the bands who had the privilege of working with Thorgerson a couple of times. When given the task to create the album cover for “The Dark Side of the Moon,” he was only instructed to create something “clean, elegant and graphic.”  Thorgerson showed seven different concepts and immediately, the band was drawn to the design with a prismatic triangle. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Thorgerson said that the idea was mostly related to Pink Floyd’s light shows: “They hadn’t really celebrated their light show. That was one thing. The other thing was the triangle. I think the triangle, which is a symbol of thought and ambition, was very much a subject of Roger’s lyrics. So the triangle was a very useful – as we know, obviously – was a very useful icon to deploy and making it into the prism” (Rolling Stone).

Because of its unique and simple concept, it is regarded as one of the famous album covers in history. To this day, it is known as an icon of classical rock as well as modern commercial art.


Works Cited

Chilton, Martin. “Cover Story: A History Of Album Artwork.” UDiscover Music, 14 Oct. 2019, www.udiscovermusic.com/in-depth-features/history-album-artwork/.

Rolling Stone. “Storm Thorgerson: How I Designed the Cover of ‘Dark Side of the Moon’.” Rolling Stone, 25 June 2018, www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/storm-thorgerson-how-i-designed-the-cover-of-dark-side-of-the-moon-99919/.

Nast, Condé. “Storm Thorgerson and the End of Album Art.” The New Yorker, The New Yorker, 18 June 2017, www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/storm-thorgerson-and-the-end-of-album-art.