Speaking of prints, the image above is a vintage lithograph that I picked up in San Diego (click on it for a larger version). The company that I purchased it from, Century Guild, had tons of these German lithos that were based on larger poster designs. It’s hard to believe that in the 1910s and 1920s, you could walk down a street in Germany and see illustrated posters like this plastered around town. The artwork is by Paul Scheurich (1883-1945), who apparently was one of the leading poster artists in Germany. I was surprised by how stylized it was for the time that it was done. Everything about it is just works: the guy’s funky posture and odd proportions, the bold colored shape that makes up his body without any use of line, the meaty hands with great line details, and the incredible design of his face (dig those dot eyes and wild nose shape). I have no idea what the poster is actually selling – maybe a German-speaking Brew reader can let us know – but I think the ad is great from a visual standpoint. Below are a few more Scheurich posters that I found online. Man, what I wouldn’t give to see an animated feature that looked this cool.
UPDATE – Brew reader Holger Pfläging offers a translation of the poster. He says: “The poster is advertising a company wich posts announcements and ads in the subways and elevated railways of I don’t know which German city. The upper card says: “Hollerbaum & Schmidt – Posters” the lower says: “Postings on elevated railway and subway – U. Thiemt & Co.” Thanks Holger!
UPDATE #2 – Florian Satzinger writes: “Thank you for this great post. Scheurich’s art reminded me of the Austrian artist Josef Danilotwatz (1877-1945). The atmosphere of Danilowatz’ “caricature paintings” and the feathery brush strokes are stunning. Last year we posted some of Danilowatz’ illustrations out of the book “Motor in der Karikatur – Ein lustiges Kinderbuch fÃ¼r Erwachsene”, ROB Verlag Vienna (1925), on our site HERE.
UPDATE #3 – Benjamin Leng and Patrick Walter both wrote to tell me the hilarious translation of the last Scheurich poster at the bottom of the post. It says, “Let’s go to the Butchery-Exhibition at the Zoo! There will be free sausage, beautiful bulls and fine piglets.”
UPDATE #4 – JJ Sedelmaier writes, “Regarding German poster design, check out the work of Ludwig Hohlwein. He’s the top! He influenced scads of his contemporaries and modern graphic designers as well, even the likes of Seymour Chwast. His breakdown of color and dramatic art direction is awesome! The ‘drawback’ is that much of the work towards the end of his career supported a politically incorrect cause (Hello, Adolf. . .)”
– click on image above for larger version –