VADS online resource for the visual arts

Design Friday. A.E. Halliwell.

Yesterday while reading a design blog that I hit about once a week I came across a post that had been made about Designer, Illustrator, and instructor A E Halliwell. I have to admit, that like David, the designer that featured Halliwell, I was unfamiliar with his name. The work seemed familiar, and there is a possibility that I have seen some of Halliwell’s work in the past. What I didn’t know was how much work, and influence A E Halliwell had on graphic design over the span of his career.

A E Halliwell was a design educator, teaching higher education courses from the mid 1930’s through the 1960’s. Halliwell attended the Royal College of Art, and practiced as a professional designer from the 1930’s on. In addition to professional work he taught at Camberwell School of Art and the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London, influencing hundreds of students over a span of thirty years.

What I have posted below are images that came from the vads online resource for the visual arts, and really focuses on works Halliwell produced in the 1930’s and 40’s. These images are such a great example of Art Deco graphic design stylings. The graphical nature of the work, the color pallets, and typography are indicative of the late Art Deco style that was so prominent in both Europe and the United States during this period. The posters show Halliwell’s excellent use of layout, and his solid illustration skills. This is so typical of this period, most people who went into the field of graphic design, could draw, as well as layout a page. I say this not as a dig against the current state of design, but as a reflection of the way design used to be taught, and executed. Especially in the pre-computer era. And yes I am someone who cut his teeth during that period, so I am probably a little biased in my feelings about those added skills.

The full archive contains over 200 images of Halliwell and his students work. Unfortunately none of the images are high-resolution, they are however large enough to get a good visual sense of Halliwell’s design aesthetic, and the quality of the work he produced. What is featured is poster art that Halliwell produced for a variety of businesses and services in the United Kingdom.

One interesting note about the collection. A number of the images show the poster art before typography was added. You can see from the layouts where Halliwell left space for type, but it isn’t shown in the sample they have. Also there are a few images where the original illustration is present, and then later on you see the completed poster with typography in place, giving you a look at how the design process was in the 1930’s and 40’s.