Great British graphic design and English



Paul and Karen Rennie are pleased to offer for sale this selection of exceptional British

graphic design from a private collection.


The development of graphic design in Britain during the 20C is a story that connects people and

events through art and design. The narratives of social emancipation, material comfort and

technological progress that constitute English modernism are given expression in these objects that

are both ephemeral and significant. The ephemeral nature of these images is supported by the fact

that, beyond those examples held by our museum collection, these posters are extremely rare. In

practical terms they are unique. Their significance is attested to by their place within the rhetoric of

modernism in Britain.


The poster has been a crucial support to the development of a market economy and consumer

society. Also, it has made a decisive contribution to the development of a coherent and egalitarian

visual language that finds expression, nowadays, through many channels and provides a foundation

for Britain's creative economy.


The avant-gardist desire to reject the conformity and value system of 19C salon painting found

expression in the opportunity to produce advertising posters for commercial clients. Furthermore,

the reproduction of these images and their display in public spaces allowed artists to engage

with an audience, beyond the gallery, that was both large in number and widely dispersed. The

posters therefore have a potential for political engagement that should not be under estimated.


The posters in this collection reflect the interaction between artists and the contemporary society of

Britain during the middle part of the 20C. The ideas expressed in these posters are wide ranging ­

they include history, pageantry and memory as bulwarks to cultural production; but also speak of

technology and machinery as exemplary features of modern life. The resulting images speak

eloquently of a progress that is both material and social.


McKight Kauffer was a member of Roger Fry's Omega workshops and also associated with the

Vorticist movement. Hillier, Nash and Wadsworth were all members of Unit One. Abram Games was

the most important poster designer of WW2 and helped, along with his contemporaries Tom

Eckersley, Henrion and Zero, to define a new graphic language suited to the post-war project of

reconstruction, renewal and social progress.


London Transport is recognised as an exemplar of a modern organisation where architecture,

design, service and technology are co-ordinated so as to serve the greater community. Under Frank

Pick the corporate identity of the organisation became both robust and elastic ­ so that it could

accommodate, within the rhetoric of its architecture and signage, a diverse range of advertising

images. The Shell advertising campaign organised by Jack Beddington was a more self-consciously

artistic project. It's use of elements drawn from landscape painting, abstract art and surrealism

helped to move the visual language of advertising to a more elevated, symbolic, level. Shell were

also contributors to a process whereby the relationships between people and places were

irrevocably changed. The processes of integrating the English landscape into a discourse of

national identity, through history and appearance, continues today.


The posters are on view at our shop at

47 The Old High Street

Folkestone Kent CT20 1RN

tel: 01303 242427

email -


Here they are and prices on application




Edward McKnight Kauffer 1933 p.o.a.


Edward McKnight Kauffer 1937 p.o.a.


Financial Times

Abram Games 1951 p.o.a.



London Transport

Edward McKnight Kauffer 1937 sold


Drake Brookshaw 1937 sold


Tom Eckersley and Eric Lombers 1936 sold


Edward Wadsworth 1936 sold


Paul Nash 1936 sold

(single one available in less fine condition )


Murphy TV

 Abram Games c1953 (photograph from newspaper reproduction) sold


please contact Paul if you have any questions on