A 50 Year Old Design Time Capsule.

Last summer when work began at the Notting Hill Gate station on London’s subway system, a series of posters were discovered in what used to be a waiting area for elevators. The posters were installed between 1956 and 1959 and are in remarkable shape considering where they have been for the last 5 decades. The images were taken by Mike Ashworth who works at Notting Hill Gate.

The posters are a great example of late 1950’s graphic design, typography, and illustration. According to the statement below, the posters are going to be left where they are. I kind of wish they would be removed, and given to a museum for public display.

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Work at (Notting Hill Gate) station has recently uncovered these amazing advertising posters in non-public areas and that date from c1956 – 1959 when the station’s lifts were removed and replaced by escalators. These are in an old lift passageway. We will be leaving these intact – and please do not pester the station staff as the posters are wholly inaccessible – which is why they’ve probably survived 50 odd years!

Design Friday, Edgar Olivas Day of the Dead Posters and Postcards.

Designer Edgar Olivas, has created a series of amazing postcards celebrating the “Day of the Dead” holiday, and this series of images led me to his online portfolio, which made me look, which made me say, “Design Friday Post Material”.

The Day of The Dead Holiday, might be one of the more important holiday traditions in Mexico. It is a holiday that is filled with symbolism that appears in many forms.

Presented with sugar skulls colorfully decorated, skeletons with wide and feathered hats in cut paper, dancing clay skeletons, entire dioramas made up of hundreds of skeleton figures, this comprises a small glimpse into the unique conception of death; the happy death, the silly one, the funny one, the inevitable. For over 400 years the dresses of the Mexican death have not changed that much, so, Edgar Olivas postcards give “death” a fresh new look that updates the traditional with a fresh new feel.

Edgar Olivas created six different characters each of which represents one of the six underworld gods and goddesses. Mictlantecuhtli and Mictecacíhuatl lord and lady of the darkness and the underworld. Chalmecacíhuatl, the sacrificer; Nexocho, the joker; Micapetlacalli, the dead’s box and Nextepehua, the scatterer of ashes.

Olivas says, “The grin. In all these characters the grin is related to Mictlantecuhtli’s mocking smile. Some anthropologist say that this enigmatic gesture, depicted in one sculpture, seems to smile or mock ironically of those who face or will face him one day.”

The style of the postcards and posters are represented in a style called “Didoque”. which emulates baroque ornamentation created from letter forms and glyphs of Didot typography. The works are colorful and alive, filled with so much visual energy. This series represents a small portion of Edgar Olivas work. To get a better feel for this designers gift check out his full portfolio here.