Wednesday, October 8, 2008

OPP: Delicious Design League

This edition of Other Peoples' Pileup comes from my friend Billy Baumann, the graphic design powerhouse behind the fantastic Delicious Design League. Based on the West side of Chicago, Delicious has been churning out countless gorgeous gig posters featuring Billy's design work which is obviously heavily influenced by the 1960s.

I asked Billy to send in some inspiration and he sent me some photos of this great book he found called Chicago Graphics '65. How appropriate. Take it away dude!

When you asked me to contribute I had a hard time picking just one thing out of my collection of crap but I landed on this piece because I thought it was uniquely Chicago and something that might be pretty rare; non-existent out side this area I would think.

I found this book at a local Antique Mall call BAM (Broadway Antique Mall). It was behind glass but the cover looked promising enough that I took a closer look - It had everything, "Chicago" "Graphics" and "'65" all in one place so I couldn't let it pass.

What I found on the inside was this, "A printed reflection of the bounding spirit of the industry in this Graphic Arts Capital of the World.", a pretty hefty statement to say the least.

The first part of the book consists of a mission statement as well as profiles of the 34 guilds and clubs that contributed to its contents. The photos remind me of that show MadMen (if I watched that show). I thought I would find the Aesthetic Apparatus guys in one of the photos - they would've fit right in.

The main section of the book consists of all b/w images of every aspect of design from packaging to identity to annual reports to magazine covers to general advertising.  Quite a few of the pieces featured within are pretty cool and obviously reflected an area of design still steeped in modernism - your not going to find any psychedelics in this tome. These were works from the old guard - good solid design from men that wore suits everyday, no moptops here, and whose wives stayed home with kids. Perhaps the last hangers on from an area soon to me stomped out by civil rights, the war & lysergic acid diethylamide.

Click image for larger view

The back section, which uses color, is full of ads for all the resources that designers used - from printers to typographers and photographers - it's interesting that they saved the color for that section.

As a graphic resource this book is pretty cool but as a anthropological artifact of the era this book is absolutely great. 

No comments: