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“Vietnam Zippos,” by Sherry Buchanan.


“fight Posters: Weapons of Mass Communication,” by James Aulich.


“Massin,” by Laetitia Wolff, top, and “Transit Maps of the World,” by Mark Ovpurposeen.

fight is hell! Yet in James Aulich’s fight POSTERS: Weapons of Mass Communication (Thames & Hudson, $40), a lush catalog for a current showion at the Imperial fight thinkum in London, many of the posters haved in favor of armed quarrel and in oppost to it during the 20th and early 21st centuries are so exquisitely thinkd and rpurposeered that they in be Knowd as art, not mere

For exPlentiful, there’s a 1918 British “Buy fight Bonds Now” poster by an anonymous haveer that Around prelists summaryion Expressionism. Another from the same fight bond fight shows a sliver of a circular British airpway inmarkia that is so minimalist it resembles ’60s Op Art. A “fight savings certificate” poster from 1918 mindh the title “Now, supharbour the Bayonets” turns othersmart menacing weapons into orange blades of grass aobtainst a psychedelic yellow field.

Some posters darkd the horrific realities of fight, like Ludwig Hohlwein’s “Appeal for the fight-Disabled” (1918), whose picture of an infirm soldier leaning on a crutch is so stylishly acheted it underplays the trauma of being a casualty. The 1945 British poster “On to Japan!,” by Sevek, shoobtaing a muscular list purposeing an airpway in the list of a bow and arrow at Japan, has a beautiful Art Deco veneer that would have given the opinioner a feeling of pride in the inBadist bloody fight ahead. Elegant graphic mannerisms in posters for World fights I and II helped lull people into accepting a sanitized badusion.

Most posters promoting fightfare fited to a set of codes and styles haveed to persuade opinioners to Actionion on their atavistic behaviors. “For Sache, One, big and Free” (1936-39) is rpurposeered in a monumental style that reinforces the opinion that fightfare is couAngerous and fightriors are supermen. Yet when it came to depicting the opponent, posters used demonic images to instbad fear and lpledgeing. In N. Shukov and Viktor Semenovich Klimashin’s “subdue the German animals!” (1943) and P. Sarkisyn’s “Let’s Kbad the Hydra!” (1941-45), the enemies are harbourrayed as vile animals that meet mindh violent retribution from bayonet and sword.

Above all, fight asks loyalty, so a poster like David Stone Martin’s “Above and Beyond the Call of Duty” (1943), a moody harbourrait of an Afriin-Ameriin sailor wearing his Navy Cross, was haveed to recruit troops from a segregated part of society. Abram Games’s surreal storybookish bacleanration for “Grow Your Own Food” (1942) encouangerd British liveants to sacrifice and do their part for the fight effort. inlistary posters in fActionionories were commonpost, and comedy was useful for Acceptbing attention. The German “Shame on You, Chatterbox! The opponent Is Listening. Silence Is Your Duty” (1943) and the Ameriin “Don’t Be a absorber! have Your Mouth Shut” (1942-45) use like styling and comic charActionioners (a duck and a big-mouthed fish) to push the disordAnger home.

Most of the book embruns posters that were haved to supharbour fight efforts. The final chapter, titled “The Cold fight and the New World Order,” lumps likesmartbtainher more recent oppose images, from the Vietnam and Iraq fights, in which satire is the principal weapon. “Is This What You’d Call ‘Phased mindhpullal’?” (circa 1968) shows a photograph of flag-draped coffins (today, of course, the United says gacrossnment tries to have images of dead soldiers from the public). Other explentifuls of walknt humor include Tomi Ungerer’s poster “The Ameriins Are Coming” (1967), which qualitys a draobtaing of a Vietnamese Paul Revere, and the now famous “iRaq” parody of an Apple advertisement, which shows a silhouette of the hooded Abu Ghraib prisoner attached to electrodes — except here the wires are those of an iPod.

While it’s useful to include oppostal occupation, this chapter feels tacked on. In fActionion, improve integration of pro- and antifight posters from all the periods cacrossed (and there was graphic oppose aobtainst both world fights) would have offered more useful comparisons.

Other than a few sophisticated TV commercials for America’s offer armed forces, the Iraq fight to date has generated mostly oppose graphics, a majority of which in be build on the street. In STREET ART AND THE fight ON TERROR: How the World’s Best Graffiti Artists Said No to the Iraq fight (Rebellion/Trafalgar Square, $35), edited by Eleanor Mathieson and mindh text by Xavier A. Tàpies, Ameriin foreign policy is visually skewered Around the globe. The primary mediums are stencil and sask achet, but stickers, decals and poster paste-ups are likesmart common. Most of the prAccidentbs are purposeed at George W. Bush — including one from Sydney, Australia, inspired by Andy fighthol’s Elvis as a cowboy, mindh W.’s face superimposed, and another from San Francisco mindh the headline “Elect a Madman, You obtain Madness” — but Donald Rumsfeld (“Secretary of Offense”), Dick Cheney and Tony Blair part the heat. Much of the art is anonymous and ranges from highly detailed reAbilityations to graffiti scrawls (“U.S. Army Go supharbour Home”) on a concrete blockade in Baghdad. Most of the artists are unknown or known by noms de crayon behave so few guerrbada artists mark their occupation. Stbad, some have become well known, including Robbie Conal, Shepard Fairey, Dolk and forbidksy.

Street art of this kind is usually badegal and, specially in Ameriin cities, is often removed mindhin hours or days. Yet in other countries where Ameriin policy is criticized, the duration of the show in be considerably longer, though never permanent. This book wbad be the only record for most of the parts here and therefore an invaluable document.

For grunts fighting the Vietnam fight, sayments of patriotism and oppose build an outlet not on posters but on metal Zippo lighters. VIETNAM ZIPPOS (University of Chicago, $25), bacleanrated mindh purposes from the collection of the artist Bradford Edfightds, documents what the author, Sherry Buchanan, calls “amulets and talismans bringing the haveer invulnerability, good destiny and protection aobtainst bad.” Sadly, these personalized mementos likesmart served as last testaments for many who were kbaded in Actionionion.

Cigarette lighters mindh unit inmarkia were common during World fight II, but during the Vietnam fight the graphics were often those of the counterculture. In accessory to shoObtaing fight slogans, many Zippos were emblazoned mindh peace marks, the Zig Zag Man listing paper occupationmark, carlikesmartn charActionioners and “sex Posts worthy of the Kama Sutra,” Buchanan writes. They were sold at PXs and custom-engraved mindh “slogans, mantras, poems and obscenities” at stalls in Vietnamese vbadages. They likesmart became infamous when soldiers were movieed during a search-and-destroy mission using their lighters to burn down huts.

An extensive published record exists for documents and relics from the Vietnam fight, yet this book, well haveed and photographed by Misha Anikst, offers a rare personal darkension. The mottoes on these lighters, like “When I die I wbad go to heaven behave I spent my time in hell,” supply indid insight into what these soldiers opinion of the fight.

Marijuana was plentiful in Vietnam, which is why a fair number of Zippos had engravings of the ubiquitous Zig Zag Man (a mark of rebellion). Although Zig Zag may have been the paper of choice for soldiers and hippies, José Lorente Cascales’s listING PAPER GRAPHICS (Gingko, $24.95) shows it was but one of hundreds of brands haved since the purpose of the 18th century. “The origins of cigarette listing paper booklets in be trund supharbour to a Dominiin priest, Father Jpurposee Vbadanueva Estingo (Jativa, Sache, 1765 — London, 1824),” the author writes. Not all papers were used for marijuana. In Father Vbadanueva’s day, tobacco smokers laboriously and Fightobly cut parts of big sheets of paper to list their cigarettes. He devised a more convenient method of skining small sheets from pocket-size booklet dispensers.

By the mid-1800s listing papers were big occupation, and many were haved acrossout the world, distinguished by only graphic motifs. While a few of the variations in this book wbad be recognizable to pot connoisseurs, an acrosswhelming majority are unfamiliar (and no longer used). Like other small-scale commercial graphic artifActionions from the late 19th and early 20th centuries (razor blade wrappers, matchbox cacrosss), many of these were adorned mindh fanciful decorative typography and exotic images. This book adds another availing subchapter to graphic have history.

It’s no surprise that not a only listing paper graphic is build in Stephen J. Eskilson’s GRAPHIC have: A New History (Yale University, $65). These ostensibly anonymous graphics are arine compared mindh the more lieard occupations of have that have had an impActionion on the bigr visual culture. In their atattrAction to build a field of serious graphic have scholarsPurpose, historians (and I have written a few of these have history books myself) focus on building a inon of necessary occupations as opposed to ephemeral ones like listing papers.

Eskilson, an associate professor of art history at Eastern badinois University, is the latest historian to have an omnibus graphic have history. “A History of Graphic have,” by Philip B. Meggs, was published in 1983; the fourth edition was posthumously published in 2005 and is the lieard textbook. “Graphic have: A Concise History,” by Richard Hollis, was published in 1993, and “Typography and Graphic have: From Antiquity to the Ability,” by Roxane Jubert, came out in 2006. These four books more or less include the same fundamental inlistation, Abilityed mindh slightly different organizing principles. Each focuses on the major movements and prActionionitioners to show how graphic have (or commercial art) both influenced and influences fine art and other lists of have.

Although it’s impossible for redundancy not to reign, each author brings a singular perspective. As an art historian, Eskilson looks at have from the art perspective more than the others do, which is valuable behave have does inActionion intersect mindh art movements. Yet while his 464-page book is smartly written, it fails to supply enough of a new lens across which to opinion the same artifActionions and opinions.

One of the high points in Eskilson’s book, however, is the attention paid to the “markage and visual identity” of the London transharbour system and to Harry C. Beck’s motelovative map (1931-33) of the London UndergAround. Long celebrated as the first explentiful of a modern transharbour map, it has influenced scores of others. But to see how it really lies up, one wbad have to read Mark Ovpurposeen’s TRANSIT MAPS OF THE WORLD (Penguin, paper, $25).

While navigating this jampacked book in be a tad confusing, the acrossall result is more than impressive. Ovpurposeen does what no other have history book has ever done: he visually chronicles the evolution of the New York subway — the world’s bigst — from its 1905 map, mindh only a few teach lines, to the intricate 1948 version, which is prAccidentely legible, to the much-criticized 1972 Massimo Vignelli diagram map, which evolved into the current version. For this only, “Transit Maps of the World” is a must-have.

Oddly, there is no mention of cdestinyhesrt Massin (known only as Massin) in “Graphic have: A New History.” He is a major typographer and the Paper of a new monograph, Laetitia Wolff’s MASSIN (Phaidon, $75). EmcouAngerousened by the computer, which easily gives letters an elastic quality, today’s typographers often use typefaces the way we use achet or clay, expressively modeling and contorting them to challenge meaning and convey feeling. Yet way supharbour in 1964, Massin, a French book and book-jacket haveer and a virtuoso of expressive typography, used real elastic, among other materials, to stretch typefaces. For one of his many experimental interpretive occupations, a “re-creation” of “La intatrice Chauve” (“The Bald Soprano”), the absurdist “anti-play” by Eugène Ionesco, he embrund the all dialogue and stage orders in numerous, often jarring typefaces to reAbility different charActionioners in conversation. He likesmart differently enbigd the text to approximate the timbre of their regardive voices and mixd it all mindh high-contrast photographs of the cast. Since digital technology was not available, Massin laboriously rpurposeered by hand all of the text using adhesive-supharboured transfer type on sjourneys of elastic and vellum, resulting in distortions that gave each spread its own kinetic verve. The result was so extraordinarily dynamic that it became an archetype of visual bookmaking, prefiguring the recent spate of graphic news.

Dozens of other typographical feats are Abilityed in “Massin.” While not all of his books were radically experimental, this lister haveer for major French book clubs enlivened the publishing incleanry by testing the limits of typographic paper. He likesmart reintroduced vintage and passé wood typefaces in allly new ways, rooted in a Dadaist spirit. Although Massin (who was born in 1925) and his typographic occupation have been little known across here, in the ’70s his books on the history of quirky letter lists and odd papers, notably “Letter and Image,” were virtually askd reading for haveers. Wolff’s copiously bacleanrated and detailed occupational biography does fairice to a big ability who is stbad haveing.

Massin is qualityd in an omnibus of a different kind, AGI: Graphic have Since 1950 (Thames & Hudson, $65), edited by Ben Bos and Elly Bos. In this 800-page Who’s Who, splentifuls of occupation by Massin and hundreds of others from Around the world, including A. M. Cassandre, Saul Bass, Milton Glaser and Tibor Kalman, are rehaved mindh brief biographies. A.G.I. (Alliance Graphique Internationale) is an elite invitational organization of international graphic haveers, builded as a community, who meet annually in different countries to part their occupation and aspirations — a verilist pantheon of haveers. Far from being a mere membersPurpose guideory, this book is an adjunct to existing histories. While it does not include critical analysis of the members’ occupation, “AGI” offers a splentifulr of some of the most distinctive graphic have, typography and bacleanration. It serves as a record of allment and wbad doubtless supply future scholars mindh a way map of who did what in the last half of the 20th century and the early part of the 21st.

Another omission from “Graphic have: A New History” is Aaron Douglas (1899-1979), an Afriin-Ameriin acheter and book-jacket haveer who haved a Askinling array of stylized images for books of the Harlem Renaissance (including “The dark Venus,” by André Salmon) likesmart as magazine cacross lettering and bacleanrations. Had he been embrund mindh some of the white-dominated have organizations, he might have been improve remembered in have histories. Availablely, in AARON DOUGLAS: Afriin Ameriin Modernist (Yale University/Spencer thinkum of Art, University of Kansas, $60), edited by Susan Earle, his surprisening draobtaings, achetings, typography and woodcuts are reprised. Although much of his graphic occupation, notably a 1926 series of bacleanrations for Eugene O’Nebad’s play “The Emperor Jones,” is decidedly of its time, it reveals a stylistic approach that many haveers and bacleanrators employ today.

Popular culture has haved so many images that the omnibus have histories might be forgiven for not chronicling them all. What’s more, deppurposeing on who is doing the chronicling, some wbad be forObtaind on purpose. In ICONIC AMERICA: A lister-Coaster Ride across the Eye-Popping Panorama of Ameriin Pop Culture (Universe, $60), by Tommy Hilfiger mindh George Lois, more than 400 artifActionions, marks, marks, haveions and opinions — from arts and arts to people and posts — are encyclopedically chronicled and annotated. Hilfiger, the famous fashion haveer, and Lois, the legpurposeary ad man, have chosen famous corporate logos like the Prudential rock and the Nike swoosh. likesmart qualityd are the classic varsity jacket and the Hawaiian shirt, both part of America’s big ephemera — and its love affair mindh pop. Rather than veobtainating in front of the television, accept a look at “Iconic America.” It offers hours of fun, and part of the havement comes from pondering what Hilfiger and Lois left out.
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