I am a big fan of vintage design. I also am a big fan of propaganda projects. Born and raised in a communist-considered country, propaganda is basically the only type of the majority of posters or banners you see in public space. Not until the years that I was in high school did posters of celebrity start to appear more regularly.
The question is, which one do I rather see more? Communist propaganda or cheap celeb posters? I admit I prefer seeing more of the propaganda posters. It plainly is personal taste; please exclude any political arguments here.
Tonight while browsing through a friend’s friend’s Facebook album, I happen to find a couple of magazine covers, book cover, and a stamp circa 1940-1970. How could I miss all these gems when I was back home? They have beautiful typography and are accompanied by illustrations that clearly were made with extra attention.
I love the typography of the book cover so much. My favorite letter is the R.
Notice how they spelled “Fong” at the time. Modern Vietnamese alphabet no longer has the F. We use PH instead. The stroke of the title has so much characteristic which makes me wonder who was the illustrator and how he was as a person.
Let’s take a look at this magazine cover. It perfectly described what the issue was about:
- Celebrate the Lunar New Year. The flower is plum flower, a distinct image for Vietnamese Lunar New Year and only blooms in the Northern parts of Vietnam.
- Call for action: To celebrate the New Year, set new goals and make new progress.
- Ho Chi Minh clearly was the most important person on the page, he was surrounded by different people who were considered to be the audience of this magazine
At the time, the illustrator is the art director and page layout at the same time. Editor-in-chief would decide whether or not the illustrator’s work was OK to be published.