If you were a child of the 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond, the illustrations of Mary Blair will be really familiar to you. She was responsible for the concept artwork on many Walt Disney films. Bambi? Cinderella? Alice in Wonderland? Peter Pan? That was her!
She designed a breathtaking, multi-storey mural inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort which opened in 1971 (see the top right image in our collage and the film of its making at the bottom of this post). It’s 90′ tall and consists of 18 thousand hand-painted tiles!
The styling and colouring of the original it’s a small world installation is also her work. It began life as part of the 1964 New York World’s Fair’s UNICEF pavilion thereafter moving to Florida’s Walt Disney World. It has since been followed by later versions in Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland.
She was one of the main illustrators on the Little Golden Books series of children’s books (Another Disney project). Her output can be found in I Can Fly, Little Verses and Baby’s House.
Mary Blair also designed advertising and, on occasion, packaging for Meadow Gold milk, cheese and ice cream, Blue Bell children’s clothing, E-Z underwear, Hanes Underwear, Pall Mall cigarettes, Dutch Boy Paints and Baker’s instant chocolate flavor mix.
You can find numerous books illustrated by Blair, as well as books about her and her work on Amazon.
Check out some of our other past Designer Desire members here!
Flickr | Pinterest
Ceramic Mural from Animation Scoop on Vimeo.
One of the most well-known Hervé Morvan (1917-1980) works is probably the design he produced in 1956 for Banania – a French chocolate drink company.
He designed posters and other advertising materials for lots of other well known brands including Air France, Perrier, Evian, Gitanes and Bally.
Between the 1930s and 1950s, he designed over 150 film posters and also illustrated a number of LP covers and the Printemps du Monde series of children’s books by Jean des Vallières.
His original posters fetch good prices and can sometimes be found on eBay or specialist outlets such as Vintage Posters
There’s a book of around 280 of his works which is available on Amazon.
Image credits: Invaluable
This week, we’re drawing your attention to the fantastic work of Teeside-born and Brighton-based Sean Sims. We first mentioned him in our Tuesday Huesday series way back in 2012 and he’s produced lots more great designs in the years since then.
His work ranges from children’s book illustrations, aircraft in-flight meal snack boxes, posters, greetings cards, gift wrap, magazine covers… even a jigsaw puzzle! Last autumn, he designed one of the 44 Snowdogs that were auctioned off on behalf of The Martlets Hospice.
His style is immediately recognisable – with hints of Alain Greé, Miroslav Sasek and Kenneth Townsend. No wonder we love his work!
You can get a range of his designs in his own webshop or on Not on the High Street.
Image credits: Agency Rush | King & Mcgaw | Yellow House
As you may know, we’re massive fans of children’s book illustrations. We have vintage books in our collection by Miroslav Sasek, Bill Charmatz and Alain Grée amongst others. One illustrator we’ve admired for a long time, but don’t actually own any of his books, is Brian Wildsmith.
Wildsmith (who died in the summer of 2016) was an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator with a large portfolio of work behind him. His books were playful but educational at the same time and covered subjects such as ABCs, birds and other animals, fables and bible stories.
In an interview for the Independent newspaper in 2010, Brian Wildsmith explained his ethos:
[Before ABC] the text was the most important thing and pictures would just accompany it, diagrammatically explaining what was going on in the words. But I could limit my text so the illustrations explained what actually happened. And not just the physical event of what was happening, but the vision of the people or the animals or the landscape around them. I was expressing in colour the wonder and beauty of the world in which we live, which had never happened before, and would have been difficult to explain in words for children.
Some of his books are still in production, however, if you’re like us and prefer vintage copies – despite them sometimes being ‘read worn’ – there are always examples available on Etsy and eBay. We’re after a 1st edition of his Animal Gallery which teaches lots of the collective nouns like ‘a corps of giraffes’, ‘an array of hedgehogs’, ‘a herd of seahorses’ and ‘a troop of kangaroos’.
Abe Books | Amazon | Hive
We bought some vintage metal filing drawers at auction last month – these lovely vintage travel maps were stored inside.
The covers immediately caught our eye, with illustrations by French artist Jean Colin. Born in 1912, he’s best known for his advertising posters from the mid 20th century. In addition to Shell, he did artwork for many prominent companies such as Cinzano, Air France, Kiwi Shoe Polish, Marchal and Perrier – and won many awards for his designs.
These Shell guides for various regions of France date from the 1950s/60s.
The maps inside are very attractive too – colourful & detailed, but clear to read.
We’d spied them inside the drawers, but a nice little bonus all the same!
image credit: Pop Up Venice
Today we were introduced to the fine illustrations of Richard Erdoes via the Fishink blog (thanks Craig!).
This illustration of Piazza San Marco is from his 1967 book, Peddlers and Vendors Around the World. If you’re into vintage children’s books this would be a good one to add to your collection. There are currently a few copies available to buy at Abe Books.
Another artist in the vein of our favourite, Miroslav Sasek!