This photo was brought to my attention on Twitter last week, and I got very excited because it was labelled as The Bakerloo Line at Piccadilly Station, 1970.
I was all ready to launch a whole blog post on the back of this, talking about how the 1950s style of graphic advertising persisted for far longer than any of us had imagined, and how what’s reported in graphics annuals may not reflect what’s actually going on in the real world, and so on and so on.
And then I looked at the clothes. This isn’t 1970, is it. It’s scarcely pushing 1960 if you ask me. So design history does not have to be redrawn.
It is a lovely photo though, and also a reminder that the past is a far distant place where tobacco is an acceptable Christmas present.
So in the absence of those thoughts, I do also have space to point you at this lovely picture as well, which Dr G posted in the comments section the other day and is originally from this blog.
On the main floor galleries of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, visitors study posters that tell them to buy war bonds and look out for the enemy.”-LIFE Magazine, December 21, 1942.
What they are actually looking at is entries in a National War Poster competition – and it’s a good job that Dr G told me that otherwise I would have wasted a great deal of time trying to identify what’s on the walls.
But the picture is interesting, and not just because it shows people looking at posters. It’s also a reminder that war posters in particular were not just preaching, but were part of a conversation with the viewers, and a conversation in which the public could sometimes have quite an active role. Right down, I might remind you, to making their own posters themselves.
It still pains me that someone has cut up a Lewitt-Him to create this, but it can’t exactly be undone, can it. Hey ho.