abram games RDI OBE 1914 - 1996
Abram Games was one of the great poster designers of the 20th
century. His contribution to the development of graphic communication
was remarkable for having been made within the circumstances of
propaganda communication during WW2. Images such as Your Talk
May Kill Your Comrades or Don't Crow About What You Know About
applied modern design sophistication to the primary messages of
wartime in a witty and effective way.
The war established Games as a master of poster design. He continued to
work until the 1980s and produced a distinguished body of work for London
Transport, BOAC, the GPO and other British organisations. At the same time
Games worked tirelessly for Jewish causes and made some remarkable
contributions to Hebrew typography through book design. Abram Games
also designed an improved Cona coffee maker that managed to be both
functional and attractive.
Abram Games was the winner of a competition to design an emblem for
the 1951 Festival Of Britain. His combination of Britannia's profile, compass
points and bunting created an emblem that was symbolic of both magisterial
decorum (history and tradition but not of royalty or militarism) and light-
heartedness (social tolerance and humour). This was a perfect symbol for
post-war transformation and of Britain making it.
The images on this page are testimony to the enduring quality of Games'
poster design and offers a chance to re-examine a body of work that gave
visual expression to both the efforts and experience of the war and to the
hopes and ideals it was fought for.
"Abram Games was the last master of the drawn lithograph
before photography replaced traditional techniques in poster
design" Conran Directory of Design
Horizon is available for sale p.o.a
The copyright of all these images is owned by the Estate of Abram Games.
The text on page was written by Paul Rennie and first published by Conde Nast.
Paul did this short interview between friends Abram Games and Tom Eckersley at Abram's home,
which was published by Affiche in 1994/5. (click on pages below to read)
the first major study of Abram Games
by Naomi Games, Catherine Moriarty and June Rose.
to view books for sale - please click here
1946 paperback with cover by Abram Games. available at £10
and pack of 16 cards showing posterwork spanning the designer's career
£6.50 per pack
Whilst best known for poster design Abram games also made a striking
contribution to information design. Throughout WW2 he produced a series
of information maps published by the Army Bureau of Current Affairs.
These double-sided sheets provided information about the war and, on the
reverse, some aspect of service of civilian life during the conflict. These
sheets were pubished fortnightly and were to form the basis of discussion
about British war aims . The sheets were supported by detailed notes
available to the officers.
The problems associated with presenting a variety of different types of
information in a clear and coherent way anticipate those faced by
contemporary web designers.
(thankyou to Lorna for photo)
An important exhibition of posters by Abram Games was held at the Design
Museum and is now travelling.
November - December 2014 at Jewish Museum London
see also our pages on
F H K Henrion
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