‘On an aesthetic level, the bold, graphic quality of the works should make them accessible to a wide readership. There will no doubt be a nostalgic familiarity to some of the objects, given the ubiquitous role they played in the daily life of Australians.’ — Dominic Hofstede
Graphic Identities presents the work of eight designers practicing in Australia from the 1930s to 1980s whose stories when taken together tell a compelling narrative of visual culture in this country. The names Douglas Annand, Frances Burke, Dahl Collings, Pieter Huveneers, Arthur Leydin, Alistair Morrison and Shirley de Vocht resonate within their industries, but their designs have impacted all our lives through currency, packaging and postage stamps as well as advertising, publishing and architectural signage. Their work in retail (including Myer, David Jones, Farmers), travel (Qantas, Orient Line, Hayman Island), alcohol (Penfolds, Tooth and Co) and banking (Westpac, Reserve Bank of Australia) have solidified the image of some our most iconic brands.
Pioneers of a new Australian aesthetic in open dialogue with international art and design movements, many of the designers in Graphic Identities contributed to the professionalisation of the design sector through industry organisations as well as educational institutions. All played a part in formulating a bold, original, and sophisticated body of work – marking the apotheosis of the analogue era.
As an adjunct to the Graphic Identities exhibition at the Powerhouse, Sydney, curated by Senior Curator of Design and Architecture, Keinton Butler, the publication features over 100 reproductions of unique work acquired by the Museum from the estates of the designers from the late-1980s onwards.
Edited by Horacio Silva
Designed by Dominic Hofstede
Text by Elizabeth Glickfeld, Keinton Butler, Dominic Hofstede
Published November 2021