Style & Substance


From the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution come a pair of images that speak well to the issues of this blog. The creator, Frederick Hammersley (1919-2009), was not a graphic designer by profession, but rather, an abstract painter. It seems that he did work briefly as a graphic designer when he was in the Army Signal Corps during World War II. After the war, and then art school, Hammersley went on to a long career of painting, exhibiting and teaching in California and then New Mexico. He reminds us there’s a thin line between art and design, and that line is drawn by the artist and with intent. This artist intended these as graphic design posters and not paintings, and they work beautifully.



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