Adorn Decorate and Embellish Photograms and Graphic Design

ecorate and Embellish
Saul Bass 'San Francisco Inernational Film Festival' 1961

This is a poster deigned by Saul Bass based around a ball of film. The flat graphic ball of film surrounds a small globe illustrating the world film festival. The use of one colour (blue-teal) with black and white very well and also seems of its time. The text is very simple and has a utilarian feel - it is simple and clear but does not take away from the main image.

The ball of film has the look of photogram and a similar effect could be achieved by creating a photogram, scanning it into Photoshop and adding colour and text.
Laszlo Maholy Nagy - Photogram (date unknown 1920s?)

This Photogram by Laszlo Maholy Nagy is a good example of a coiled film captured on photographic paper. Maholy Nagy was not interested in making recognisable photograms and instead wanted to explore the medium for its abtract tendencies. He would take objects from the everyday world and turn them into to some else - something strange. The same forms appear in his photogram as in his paintings and photographs - especially circles and diagonal lines.
Saul Bass -Poster for 'Vertigo' 1958 dir. Alfred Hitchcock

This is Saul Bass' poster for Alfred Hitchcocks film 'Vertigo'. Part of the plot involves the lead character having vertigo and Bass captured the disoriatating and dizzying effect in both the poster and the title sequence (which he also created). This was achieved in the poster by using the geometric spiral shape overlaid with simple graphic figures. Similar to his Film Festival poster he has used one colour (this time orange) with black and white. Rather than using a simple font he has created his own font from cutout paper that has then been stylised. He used this font in several posters and title sequence - and it is used today by designers trying to achieve a 1950's style.
Graphic designs by ISO50
ISO50 (Scott Hansen) combine the curves, spirals and patterns that are found in Art Nouveau and combines them with old textures , marks an, photographs and paint splatters. The splashed marks on a Photogram (made by chemicals) combined with other photographic elements could create this effect. Technology often effects the art of its day - from oil paints, the printing press, the camera and, today, photoshop and the internet. The simple bold vector forms are given a worn texture and the faded colour and images give the images a retro feel. You can learn how he created these images in PDF tutorials here.

Book Jacket Designs for Christian Kracht by Isaac Tobin
A lot of modern graphic design has this feel of nostalgia and combines textured surface, photographs, typography, forms and flat areas of colour to create a nostalgic and retro feel.

A collection of designs by Brent Couchman