Exceptional

As the masthead suggests, Quad Royal is meant to be a blog about British graphics and design.  But I often find myself making an exception when a David Klein poster comes up in an auction I’m mentioning, mainly because they catch an optimism about the 1950s that the British tend to express more in a cheery whimsicality than in the neon and rush of the city.

David Klein TWA vintage travel poster New York

It’s not something Britain ever really had in the 1950s, with the possible exception of Piccadilly Circus.  We didn’t have Klein’s golden sunshine either.

David Klein vintage TWA travel posters San Francisco

I am making an exception of him once again today, mainly because I have discovered (and apologies because I can’t remember who pointed me to it first) the Compleat David Klein on the web.  The posters alone are wonderful.

David Klein vintage TWA travel posters Las Vegas

These posters would, I imagine, have been seen over here quite a bit.  This one alone must have been a direct influence on R M Lander – take a look here if you don’t believe me.

But what’s actually best about it is the collection of original art works – many for posters which aren’t themselves displayed.

David Klein TWA vintage travel poster artwork washington

My favourites, perhaps unsurprisingly, are those advertising the neon and the rush.

David Klein TWA vintage travel poster New York lights artwork

David Klein TWA vintage travel poster New York artwork

The European destinations are sweet, but just don’t have that same excitement.  Klein was much much more about the new than the old, as his portrayal of Britain also shows.

David Klein TWA vintage travel poster London

The other set I do like are those advertising travel for American Service families.

David Klein vintage TWA travel posters service family

This is mainly because they are among the very few posters from this time that look like the graphics now fed back to us as 1950s retro. This kind of visual memory is always very partial, and this is a subject I’ll be coming back to in a week or so.

David Klein vintage TWA travel posters family serviceman

Anyhow, there’s way more on the website than I could display here – all I’ve even looked at is the TWA posters and there is much more besides – so do pop over and take a look, it’s well worth it.

David Klein TWA vintage travel poster Los Angeles artwork

 

 

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