Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Full Circle

This large 18x24" poster for the former Full Circle Art Gallery in Seattle, was my very first artwork purchase back in the late 70s—at a time when I frequently had to make choices to spend my paycheck on rent, gas, books or art. (Some things never change.) It is the work of David Lance Goines, a printer and prolific designer who publishes his own posters under the imprint of the St. Hieronymus Press in Berkeley, California. I was very inspired by his work and style at the time as it reminded me of the work of three of my favorite poster artists of the early 20th C—Ludwig Holwein, a German poster designer who changed the course of advertising in Europe and the States; Lucian Bernhard, another influential German poster artist (and type designer) who helped create the Plakastil (Poster Style) design movement; and British artist, Tom Purvis, who designed colorful railway and travel posters in Britain. All three of these designers understood the basic principles of the Poster Style movement—the use of two dimensional flat color images with uncluttered, minimal composition and handlettering. Goines adopted these same design principles, but added his own modernized interpretation of them. He would always print his own posters, often mixing his own inks and adding opaque white to his muted color palette. His posters are now very collectible and he continues to publish them—many for Alice Water's popular Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley. This poster image of the old letterpress was designed to commemorate the first birthday of the popular Full Circle Gallery, one of Seattle's earliest art galleries. I came across the poster again recently where it has been hanging in my father's office since I gave it to him as a birthday gift over 30 years ago. I like it just as much now as I did then.

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