Robert L. Peters

31 December 2011

Happy New Year!

Rural Manitoba, Canada

Happy New Year! And thanks for the 121,613 visits to this blog (from 191 countries) in 2011—with over 82% from first-time visitors. Thanks also to each of you who has contributed ideas, inspiration, suggestions, and comments.

30 December 2011

Polish Cold War Neon

Warsaw, Poland

Neon signs, made using electrified, luminous tube lights containing rarefied gases, were introduced in December, 1910 by Georges Claude at the Paris Motor Show. Claude’s associate, Jacques Fonseque, subsequently realized the possibilities for a business based on signage and advertising—by 1913 a large sign for the vermouth Cinzano illuminated the night sky in Paris, and by 1919 the entrance to the Paris Opera was adorned with neon tube lighting.

A decade later, in 1929, the first neon sign in Poland went up in Warsaw. Popular from the start, the earliest neon signs were made to order—free in design, shape, and color, and significantly influencing other forms of advertising like poster design and typography. Designed and built by prominent architects, graphic designers, and artists, and overseen by a chief graphic designer in the state-run company Reklama, Polish neon signage was renowned for its outstanding technical and artistic qualities.

A new book, Polish Cold War Neon, tells the fascinating story of neon in Poland by preserving and celebrating the remnants of this rich and influential history. During its peak, Reklama maintained over 1,000 neon signs, whose playfulness and folly stood out in dark and oppressed Poland, ornamenting otherwise drab cities and towns. The book offers stunning photographs by British photographer Ilona Karwińska, along with archival images, original neon designs, and interviews with their designers to reveal the untold story of Polish neon.


Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Albert Camus (1913-1960)

29 December 2011

Social Design Poster | Autism

Finale Ligure, Italy

Social Design Poster is a concept launched by Sergio Olivotti in 2009. An invitational design competition on the theme of “Autism” drew in some 300 posters from around the world and began a social network of more than 2000 designers. An exhibition of selected submissions subsequently traveled to Spain, Bolivia, Venezuela, France, and Italy.

Shown above is a small sampling of the posters from 2009…

28 December 2011

See America…

Washington, DC

Created in the mid-1930s in response to the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration and its Federal Arts Project were focused in part on providing artwork for public buildings while assisting struggling artists. Artists were tasked with creating posters that promoted the landscapes and wildlife of America’s parks. The program ended in 1943, and the largest collection of WPA-era prints—including the images shown above—is now in the U.S. Library of Congress, (link).

I’d posted about WPA posters earlier, here(story source, thanks to Peggy Cady)


27 December 2011

This day and age we're living in gives cause for apprehension. With speed and new invention, and things like third dimension. Yet, we get a little weary, with Mister Einstein's Theory, So we must get down to earth at times, relax, relieve the tension. No matter what the progress, or what may yet be proved, The simple facts of life are such they cannot be removed. You must remember this, a kiss is still a kiss, A sigh is just a sigh… The fundamental things apply, as time goes by.

—from Herman Hupfeld’s As Time Goes By, 1931

26 December 2011

Unborn ideas… and imagined dreams.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Catrin Welz Stein is a German graphic designer and freelance illustrator now living in KL. She draws on a wide varieties of inspiration including fantasy, folklore, medieval history, surrealism, and Jugendstil in compiling her digital collages. “Because of my children (4 and 6 years old) I can go through childhood again and I can enjoy the world of fantasy and fairy tails. I like to look at childrens’ books and let them inspire me…”

25 December 2011

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples, then you and I still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.

George Bernard Shaw

24 December 2011

Peace on earth… and best wishes.

22 December 2011

Incidental Comics


This lovely comic strip is the product of Grant Snider’s former life as an engineering student and math tutor… thanks to friend Jeope Wolfe for the introduction!

Lots more here.

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