Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Cocoa Story

Today we see how Frank Newbould (1887-1951), one of the greatest and most prolific of poster designers in the inter-war years, turned his talents to illustrating an instructional book for Cadbury’s, published in 1927. The visual idiom is the same as he employed on his work for the Empire Marketing Board – intense hues, strong tonal contrasts, all supported by beautifully observed drawing executed with flair. A little graphic wit is included where the artist notes the formal similarity between the small boats and the cocoa beans they are conveying. Newbould’s work has been featured here before and there are generous selections of his poster designs in the care of the National Railway Museum and London Transport Museum. The book itself is an example of a familiar type where a sober account of mercantile adventures in tropical territories is accompanied by exotic illustrations for the benefit of those children with limited capacity for the absorption of facts and figures.

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