In 1927 the Musicians’ Union was active on several fronts to support members’ interests. It resisted reductions in pay following the General Strike and fought against harsh conditions of service when, for example, some cinema owners insisted their orchestras play seven days a week. However, to achieve its aims, the Union needed sufficient income to employ officials and organise members; but those very members resisted moves to raise the subscription.
Read more about The Musicians' Journal, No. 26 (October 1927)
The competition that civilian musicians faced from military bands in public parks and seaside resorts increased in the summer months. A year later, in the summer of 1929, however, this would seem a less menacing challenge than the rush by many exhibitors to install pre-recorded sound in their cinemas.
Read more about The Musicians’ Journal, No. 29 (July 1928)
In cinemas, the Panatrope was a two-turntable gramophone with amplified output which allowed operators to play a pre-recorded soundtrack for silent films. Like the more satisfactory systems that reproduced sound recorded on film (represented here by the American salesman, frame right), it threatened the livelihoods of musicians who accompanied films in cinemas. A related article attacked the technology being introduced in Britain and claimed that "the public cannot live on 'canned' music all the time any more than on canned pork."
Read more about The Musicians’ Journal, No. 30 (October 1928)
This front-cover image entitled, “The Key To The Situation” directed musicians to an article advising them to join the Musical Performers Protection Association. However, the company was to fail in its objectives of collecting fees from recorded music. Nor did it reverse the takeover by sound films. Although too few talkies were produced in 1929-30 to fill cinemas’ programmes completely, the studios persuaded owners to meet the cost of conversion by focusing on the prospect of increased takings and cutting out musicians’ wages.
Read more about The Musicians Journal, New Series 1 (April 1929)
“Keep Blowing Boys.” This cover image introduced an article designed to raise players’ morale. The piece argued that the failings of talkies were so obtrusive that the fad could not last. For example, it alleged, someone other than the actor has to do the talking. For that reason the actor works with his or her back to camera to conceal the fact that the voice and the movement of the performer’s lips do not synchronise.
Read more about The Musicians’ Journal, New Series 2 (July 1929)
Reflecting the accelerating pace of converting cinemas for sound, this cartoon’s prediction for 1930 relied on a counterattack that instrumentalists thought incontrovertible. In October 1929, few filmgoers would have disagreed that the quality of mechanical sound reproduction was far inferior to live music. But the riposte sidestepped two key facts: sound systems were improving fast and, more significantly, that autumn British audiences, no matter the music’s quality, were flocking to the latest sensation, the talkies.
Read more about The Musicians’ Journal, New Series 3 (October 1929)
The vision of orchestras returning to cinemas arose when the Union recognised filmgoers’ continuing appetite (despite improvements in sound reproduction) for hearing live music as part of the programme. Kine-Variety revived Victorian music hall and vaudeville formulas, programming live orchestras and performers alongside talkie feature films. Unhappily, few Musicians’ Union writers recognised that in the Depression era this was exclusively a big-city phenomenon. Only in picture palaces were well-to-do audiences and holidaymakers paying the high prices for these top-class shows.
Read more about Musicians’ Union Monthly Report, New Series 3 (March 1930)
This cartoon includes the caption: “Trades Union Congress Resolution, 1923. This Congress emphatically condemns the practice of allowing Army, Navy and Air Force bands to enter into collective and individual competition with civilian musicians, on the ground that it is unfair and subsidised competition, and intensifies the unemployment problem. The Congress further calls on all Labour representatives in Parliament and on Local Authorities to exert all their power to put a stop to this injustice.” Eight years later, with 4,000 musicians unemployed, the Union claimed that the injustice continued.
Read more about The Musicians Journal, New Series 10 (July 1931)
Read more about ENVOI
Digital Photograph 2013
The land is a rich mixture of the geological and cultural. The sculptural topography is ingrained with the lines and layers of human action. From this, we can begin to unravel some of the many narratives that play through landscape, both now and in the past.
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Screenprinting has allowed me to explore the layered nature of archaeological landscapes on paper. Archaeology is about peeling layers back in order to make sense of them. Screenprinting is about placing them back, choosing how much tone and emphasis to give each feature. In this piece, I was interested in how aerial photographs of prehistoric landscapes are interpreted, abstracting the landscape and removing a sense of scale.
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The landscape is always in formation. As we go into the future, there is an awareness of what has gone before. In this way, we can trace human actions into the past. This screenprint of fields was built up slowly. Each field is a separate layer, echoing the gradual changes of the land as one feature is set in relation to those around it.
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Wax crayon and watercolour 2009
There are many ways of seeing into the earth. Remote sensing is increasingly used in archaeology as a non-intrusive method of mapping large areas of landscape. This allows us to reveal the relationships of archaeological features over large scales and time periods. This drawing is based on a survey undertaken with the British School at Rome near Tivoli, Italy. The regimented lines of a Roman villa are surrounded by the smooth quiet of undisturbed land.
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Digital Photograph 2010
Peeling off the turf and exploring the layers that lie beneath allows a unique view into the earth and our relationship with it. The process allows a close and tacit understanding. The archaeologist’s hand learns the feel of loams and grits, fills and cuts. These long remembered details and textures build a material memory of the archaeological.
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Wax crayon and watercolour 2010
Archaeological contexts can reveal rich material that we must learn to understand. Drawing is a way of becoming acquainted with the forms and details. It is a way of thinking through the material and tracing it to memory. This is a study of a Neolithic axe, whose stone is sourced from a Neolithic quarry in the Langdales, Cumbria. The work formed part of a book ‘Stonework’ (Edmonds and Ferraby 2013) with Professor Mark Edmonds of York University.
Read more about Green Stone Axe
Digital Photograph 2013
My interest in stone has led me to explore deeper into the land. Quarries offer an extraordinary view into the earth: a rich ground for cultural geologies. This is one of the underground ‘quarrs’ where quarrymen extracted particular beds of limestone before modern machinery made large scale open cast quarries viable. The long exposure photography was a way of slowly absorbing this unique space.
Read more about Purbeck Underground
Digital Photograph 2013
Beneath the fields of Portland, Dorset, a new mine is hollowing the earth. Portland stone has been used for building for over a thousand years. It is found throughout the City of London and in some of our most famous buildings. Jordan’s Mine (Albion Stone Ltd) is itself an inverted architecture. Beneath the ground, its angular and regimented corridors are a photographer’s dream.
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Charcoal, graphite and conte crayon 2013
The cliff quarries of Purbeck are much better known than its secret undergrounds. Winspit was once an active quarry removing beds including Pond Freestone, Blue Bit and Spangle. Some of this stone was used to build Ramsgate harbour whilst other went into buildings in the City of London. The quarry is now the haunt of climbers and walkers. Graffiti etches the walls over the fading marks of picks. Drawing the space allowed me to absorb it, and to learn the beds of stone.
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Digital Photograph 2013 (Stone plaque: Pondfree Stone)
Working with stone allows a unique view beneath its surface. Lettercutting allows meaning to be carved into stone, but it is also a way of drawing understanding from it. The character of the material is quickly learned when working in this close and precise way. Here, Mark Haysom (W.J. Haysom and Sons, Purbeck) is working on a replacement plaque for the Beaminster Tunnel. The Pondfree Stone is particularly good for lettering
Read more about Lettercutting
Digital Photograph 2013 (Sculpture: Portland Best Bed)
I felt that I could not properly understand stone, or the processes described by those experienced with it, until I had worked with it myself. As well as learning lettercutting and masonry, I wanted to make a sculpture, combining the art of design and the precision of masonry. I created this piece with Gary Breeze, a stone lettering sculptor based in Norfolk. The ordered process of removal gave me new insight into ideas of negative space and sculptural forms.
Read more about Sculpture
Digital Photograph 2015
Fossils give us a very immediate connection with a distant past and a deeper understanding of the land. This Ichthyosaur is just one of many wonderful specimens in the Etches Collection (Kimmeridge, Dorset). Framed by ribs, the skeletal traces of its last meal can still be seen. A tiny snapshot in time, captured forever.
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Digital Photograph 2015
Collections of archaeological and geological material in museums offer us different ways of engaging with the elements of the land. Over the course of my research on the Jurassic Coast, I was struck by the number of small, personal museums. The artefacts were woven with stories and memories, reflected in their imaginative and aesthetic curation. This is one of the cabinets in Charlie Newman’s museum at the Square and Compass in Worth Matravers, Purbeck.
Read more about Purbeck Collection
London: Spillers Flour Limited, c.1950. Kerry Group, plc.
Possessing no other qualification than celebrity, popular British film actress Anna Neagle (1904-1986) helped to glamorise the act of baking on behalf of the Spiller’s flour brand. This foreword engages charismatic legitimation, being powerfully personalised in the form of a letter, beginning ‘How lovely to see you’ and ending with an autograph ‘Yours sincerely, Anna Neagle’. It bears comparison, therefore, with the graphic and textual techniques of the numerous film magazines of the era.
Read more about Foreword by Anna Neagle, 'How to be a Good Hostess'
New York: Golden Press, 1959. Illustrated by Peter Spier. Courtesy of General Mills Archives.
Published advice is sometimes given by invented authors, such as Betty Crocker. This cover resembles needlepoint, a home craft typically applied to domestic soft furnishings and accessories. The imagery emphasises traditional home comforts: a red-roofed home set in landscaped garden with a white picket fence is framed with a cartouche showing a teapot, roast turkey, leg of ham, pink iced celebration cake, pineapple (symbol of welcome). The cover features Crocker’s ‘signature’, and a possessive title, exemplifying charismatic legitimisation.
Read more about Cover, 'Betty Crocker’s Guide to Easy Entertaining: How to Have Guests - And Enjoy Them'
London: Pan, 1962.
This back cover juxtaposes a pensive woman with a number of questions, implying that these are the questions on her mind. A box at the top of the questions asks ‘How often do you stop to wonder -’ thereby connecting the woman shown, with the reader. In this example visual imagery is used to provide a representative for the reader and to make the questions asked, and answered, in the text, more direct and vivid.
Read more about Back cover, Sarah Maclean, 'Pan Book of Etiquette and Good Manners'
BT 43/414/291681. This textile design in the Anglo-Japanese style uses decorative motifs associated with Japanese art, and geometric design has given way to an asymmetrical pattern. Although it is not possible to attribute the design, a number of Aesthetic designers were working in this style in the mid-1870s. Christopher Dresser undertook detailed studies of Japanese design and was particularly productive at this period, designing hundreds of textiles for a range of manufacturers. H C McCrea had connections with key designers, and it seems reasonable to speculate that this design might be by Dresser.
Read more about Textile sample registered by H C McCrea & Co on 1 June 1875
Registered by Jeffrey & Co on 22 January 1878. Bruce Talbert was one of the most prolific and influential designers of the nineteenth century, who designed furniture and metalwork as well as wallpapers and textiles. His ‘sunflower’ series of wallpapers were his most popular, and his style, with its use of flat patterns and sharply delineated flowers, fruit and leaves, was much imitated. This design was displayed at the International Exhibition in Paris in 1878, where it won a gold medal. The sunflower was perhaps the most popular and enduring motif of the Aesthetic movement, appearing in wallpapers, textiles, ceramics and even in the external brickwork of buildings.
Read more about ‘The Sunflower’ wallpaper designed by Bruce Talbert
Registered by Jeffrey & Co on 16 August 1877. BT 43/101/313051. This is one of Walter Crane’s earliest wallpaper designs, and was intended as a dado. Crane was the first President of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, and believed passionately that design and craftsmanship deserved to be regarded on an equal footing with the ‘fine arts’. This is reflected in the pictorial quality of designs such as ‘Swan, rush and iris’, which demonstrate his mastery of flat pattern design. Crane was introduced to Metford Warner, the proprietor of Jeffrey & Co, by the designer Bruce Talbert, and became one of their most important designers.
Read more about Swan, rush and iris design for a wallpaper dado by Walter Crane
Registered by William Watt on 21 July 1876. BT 43/101/302033. Godwin showed a strong interest in wallpaper design, providing patterns for several leading companies. He produced wallpapers in a wide range of styles, but while highly original, his work was in keeping with the precepts of the design reformers, with designs such as ‘Star’ – one of only a few surviving examples of his wallpapers – featuring flat, conventionalised natural forms. Asymmetry was closely associated with Anglo-Japanese design, and was in sharp contrast to the strict symmetry found in the work of designers like Owen Jones.
Read more about ‘Star’ wallpaper by designed by E W Godwin
Registered by ‘William Morris trading under the style of Morris & Co’ on 8 February 1876. BT 43/372/298226. This original design is for a woven wool and silk fabric. It demonstrates Morris’ use of natural forms and motifs, which were the result of his careful study of the natural world, within flat, stylised patterns. Like Pugin, Morris believed in ‘truth to materials’, saying that he tried ‘to make woollen substances as woollen as possible, cotton as cottony as possible, and so on.’ At the time this design was registered, Morris was experimenting with different dyes, in particular indigo, as an alternative to the newer chemical dyes.
Read more about ‘Anemone’ furniture fabric design by William Morris
Registered by John Trumble and Company on 23 June 1858. BT 43/97/114061. ‘Persian Sprig’ again reflects Jones’ interest in Islamic design. It also demonstrates his design precepts. He said that ‘all direct representations of nature in paper hangings should be avoided’ but instead natural forms should be ‘conventionalised’, or stylised, and distributed across the surface using geometric principles. Jones was well-known as a colour theorist, and received high praise for his colour schemes for the interior of the Crystal Palace. For wallpapers, he said that colours should be blended so that from a distance they would present ‘a neutralised bloom’.
Read more about ‘Persian sprig’ wallpaper designed by Owen Jones
BT 43/88/78974. This is an example of the kind of design the reformers deplored. In 1852 Henry Cole put on an exhibition at the Museum of Manufactures at Marlborough House called the ‘Gallery of False Principles in Decoration’. This provided examples of where British manufacturers were going wrong, the accompanying Catalogue explaining the various violations of the reformers’ principles of design. The wallpaper, intended to celebrate the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace, showed great skill and complexity in its manufacture. However, it was exhibit number 28 in the Gallery of False Principles, condemned because it ‘falsified perspective’. Clearly it failed to meet other measures of ‘correct’ design, being neither ‘subdued’, ‘conventionalised’ nor ‘flat’.
Read more about Wallpaper registered by Heywood, Higginbottom, Smith & Co on 22 May 1851
Registered by Frederick Crace & Son on 28 May 1850. BT 43/357/69572. This is one of the few printed, as opposed to woven, textiles designed by Pugin. The flat pattern is highly original, and combines ogee forms and fleur-de-lis motifs inspired by medieval art with flower forms and trailing leaves. Pugin was one of the first architect/designers to be involved in all aspects of the decorative arts, and regarded textiles as an important aspect of interior design. Registered as a furnishing fabric, this textile was used in the interior scheme of Gawthorpe Hall in Lancashire, and is thought to have been displayed in the Medieval Court at the Great Exhibition of 1851.
Read more about Textile designed by A W N Pugin
Registered by Frederick Crace & Son on 12 October 1848. BT 43/84/54787. The architect and designer A W N Pugin was a pioneer of design reform and promoted a revival of Gothic art, which he associated with the Christian values of a pre-industrial age. He is perhaps now best known for his work with Charles Barry on the new Palace of Westminster, for which this wallpaper was made. It was inspired by fifteenth century Italian textile design, and reflects Pugin’s belief that three-dimensional effects in wallpaper should be avoided as ‘dishonest’. Instead the pattern should be flat, reflecting the flat surface of the wall and what he termed ‘truth to materials’.
Read more about Wallpaper designed by A W N Pugin
Digital Photograph 2013
The polished surface of this stone glimmers with the sectioned remains of ancient shells. The gaping Unio and whirling Viviparus shells give a clue as to its identity. Though not strictly a marble, the high polish taken by this limestone has been made use of since the Roman times. A band of landscape in Purbeck is pitted and uneven where the marble was dug for cathedrals and tombs. It continues to be highly valued.
Read more about Green Purbeck Marble
In this New Year message, the Journal linked its ambition to increase subscriptions with two other campaigns. It targets Armed Forces Bands for playing public concerts free of charge and undermining civilian musicians’ employment. And it scorns what one official called “a glorified Gramophone, the Panatrope, the proprietors of which seem to think it is going to do away with orchestras. …There does not seem to be any immediate danger of this Machine being used extensively to the detriment of our members.”
Read more about The Musicians’ Journal, No. 27 (January 1928)
This cartoon was reproduced in the Journal thanks to the American Federation of Musicians. Unlike the British cartoonists’ work, which invariably centres on the human figures involved, it is pointedly satirical of the anti-human nature of the machinery. Cupid’s harp (emblem of the movies’ desire to be seen as an art form) is wrecked, and the terrier parodies the mascot for His Master’s Voice. The yowling mutt turns its back on the cranky apparatus, whereas in the famous company logo a serene Nipper focuses lovingly on the gramophone horn.
Read more about The Musicians’ Journal, New Series 4 (January 1930)
Returning to its battle against unfair competition from Army Bands, the Journal here directed its fire at no less a person than Tom Shaw, Secretary for War in Ramsay MacDonald’s second Labour Government. In a blistering attack on him and Manny Shinwell (Financial Secretary to the War Office) it presented persuasive evidence of serial engagements of Forces Bands in seaside resorts and accused the ministers of evading a major social issue while 4,000 civilian musicians were out of work.
Read more about The Musicians’ Journal, New Series 5 (April 1930)
This cartoon first appeared in the Glasgow Evening News. It reflected the fears of some Musicians’ Union writers about the possible cultural impact of Hollywood talkies on British audiences. One drew attention to the prospect that audiences would have musical tastes forced on them by film companies, whereas a resident orchestra could respond to local tastes. Worse, the children of England might perhaps learn to speak with an American accent and abandon their own “homely and honest” dialects.
Read more about The Musicians’ Journal, New Series 7 (October 1930)
Registered by John Trumble & Co on 23 June 1858. BT 43/97/114049. The principles of design set out by Pugin were taken up by the design reform movement based around the Government School of Design in South Kensington. A key figure in the movement was Owen Jones. Jones travelled widely, researching different styles of design which were brought together and categorised in his hugely influential book The Grammar of Ornament, published in 1856. He was particularly inspired by Islamic design, as can be seen in this wallpaper, and led the way in the nineteenth century revival of what was termed the Moorish style in architecture and decoration.
Read more about ‘Moresque’ wallpaper designed by Owen Jones
Registered by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co on 1 February 1864. BT 43/99/171341. ‘Daisy’ was the first wallpaper designed by William Morris to be put into production. Morris, like the Pre-Raphaelite painters with whom he set up Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co, shared Pugin’s passion for medieval art, culture and design, as well as his belief in the intrinsic value of hand craftsmanship and dislike of contemporary British design. ‘Daisy’, formed of stylised floral motifs, is thought to have been inspired by an illustration in a fifteenth-century version of Froissart’s Chronicles, shown in an illuminated manuscript at the British Museum. By the 1870s Morris’s wallpapers were often regarded as key elements of an Aesthetic interior.
Read more about ‘Daisy’ wallpaper designed by William Morris
Registered by Jeffrey & Co on 18 February 1873. BT 43/100/270551
E W Godwin helped to popularise the Anglo-Japanese style, one of the defining characteristics of the Aesthetic movement. He introduced one of the movement’s most popular symbols, the peacock, shown here in the highly stylised form of a Japanese crest or mon. The diagonal ‘H’ pattern in the background was also derived from Japanese ornament. This formal peacock design was intended for use as a dado, with another of his designs, ‘Bamboo’, an informal, asymmetrical design, as the filling, or main section of wallpaper. The three-part division of walls into a dado, filling and frieze became a distinctive feature of Aesthetic design.
Read more about ‘Peacock’ wallpaper dado designed by E W Godwin
Registered by Jeffrey & Co on 21 August 1879. BT 43/103/338553
Well-known as an illustrator of children’s books, Walter Crane designed a number of nursery wallpapers for Jeffrey & Co, including The Sleeping Beauty. Like William Morris, Crane believed that the decorative arts had symbolic potential. Morna O’Neill (2010) has discussed the way in which Crane returned to the theme of The Sleeping Beauty throughout his career. For example, in an essay of 1892 he refers to ‘the sense of beauty’ who, ‘like the enchanted princess in the wood, seems liable, both in communities and individuals, to periods of hypnotism’.
Read more about ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ wallpaper designed by Walter Crane
BT 43/414/306159. This textile design was sold as a roller-printed cotton by Liberty’s department store in Regent Street, a key force in popularising the Aesthetic style, from the late 1880s onwards. It was revived in 1975 and is still used in a range of artefacts by the store under the name Hera. However, the design represents something of a mystery. It is usually attributed to Arthur Silver at the Silver Studio, but the sample at The National Archives was registered in 1876, several years before the Silver Studio was established in 1880, calling this attribution into question.
Read more about Woven silk fabric registered by William Fry & Co on 20 December 1876
Registered by Jeffrey & Co on 28 May 1879. Christopher Dresser was a prolific designer, working across most areas of the decorative arts. He wrote a number of influential works on design and design theory, but unlike proponents of the Arts and Crafts Movement embraced mass production. Like Pugin and other designer reformers, Dresser believed in using nature as the basis of ornament. Trained as a botanist, he pioneered the concept of ‘artistic botany’, contributing a plate to his former tutor Owen Jones’ book The Grammar of Ornament. Like Jones, Dresser believed that representations of nature should be ‘conventionalised’ rather than naturalistic, as shown in this design featuring stylised cornflowers.
Read more about ‘Indian’ wallpaper designed by Christopher Dresser
London and Chesham: Gramol Publications Ltd., 1946 (1944, 1945)
From a curvilinear modern house with horizontal fenestration to a thatched farmhouse via a suburban detached house, and an Arts and Crafts style manor house, the endpapers for this advice book (and the book’s plates and line drawings) provide a synchronic representation of architectural heterogeneity, illustrating the variety of what home could be in 1946, and implying, therefore, address to a broad readership.
Read more about Endpapers, The Good Housekeeping Institute's 'Book of Good Housekeeping'
Image in Alan Jarvis, The Things We See No. 1 Indoors and Out, West Drayton, Middlesex: Penguin, 1946, 47. Permission, Design Council / University of Brighton Design Archives. CC-BY.
Jarvis shows how visual rhetoric can communicate class and gender norms. He contributes to a tradition of teaching consumers to distinguish between good and bad, which extends back to nineteenth-century design reform, for example Augustus Welby Pugin’s True Principles (1841). Jarvis wrote ‘…by vulgarity we mean just this kind of coarseness of body, cheapness of ornament, and insensitive application of make-up. The parallel in the case of pottery is exact, in its florid shape and crude cosmetic decoration’.
Read more about ‘Vulgarity’, Portrait by John Deakin, jugs photographed by Elsie Collins
Fig. 137 in Emily Post The Personality of a House, fourth edition 1948 , New York and London: Funk and Wagnalls Company, p. 398.
In her discussion of ‘Today’s Kitchen’, leading US etiquette writer Emily Post was influenced by Christine Frederick’s application of Scientific Management to homemaking, and an emphasis on designing domestic spaces with a view to ‘saving steps’ (See, for example ‘Efficient grouping of kitchen equipment’ (Scientific Management in the Home, London: G. Routledge & Sons, 1920 p. 22)
Read more about Stephen J. Voorhies, ‘An Ideal Kitchen Arrangement’
Illustration by Charles Malcolm Allen in Betty Allen and Mitchell Pirie Briggs, If You Please: A Book of Manners for Young Moderns, rev. ed., J. B. Lippincott Company,  1950, p. 194.
Allen and Briggs’s books exemplify a tendency to show in the illustrations what is censured by the text. Scenes of teenagers having fun—listening to loud music, socialising without permission—carry disapproving captions. However, these depictions of censured activity might provide scenarios of identification for young people in a manner unplanned by authors and possibly even illustrators in the absence of an authorial voice for that group in post-war advice books.
Read more about ‘Although your elders’ love for you amounts to adoration, a scene like this would be improved by greater moderation’
Stoke-on-Trent: Simplex Electric Co. and London: Odhams, 1958. Permission IPC Media, a Time Inc. Company. CC-BY-NC-ND.
Publisher Odhams Press used the same visual identity across genres and decades when it repurposed cover designs by illustrator Esme (Florence Olive Esme Eve) from The Woman Week-End Book numbers 1 and 2 (1949) for the Creda Housecraft Manual (1958). While the Woman Week-End Books are entertaining selections of short stories, and tips on beauty, housewifery, personal problems, cookery, knitting, and useful things to make’, the Creda Housecraft Manual promotes a household appliance brand forming an example therefore of the ‘advertising cookbooks’ genre.
Read more about Cover, Illustration by Esme, 'The Creda Housecraft Manual'