Over the years, we've run over 100 articles on design and advertising outside of the U.S. and Canada, as seen mostly through the eyes of our intrepid contributors. Besides profiles of innovators in most major regions of the world, we've shown political posters from both sides of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, Russian design during the height of Communism and South African creativity after the fall of apartheid.
Just a few of the more fascinating trips: Artist-reporter Earl Thollander toured Europe for three months in 1959 and returned with 225 drawings of his own and some examples of commercial art from Russia. “Having all factories under the same ownership must be a discouraging prospect to the up-and-coming Muscovian ad man,” Thollander said.
Bill Tara traveled to the Balkans in 1965 to look at work from Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and Yugoslavia. Tara bravely traveled without visas. “I arrived at the borders and said, ‘Hello there.’ They said, ‘Hello’ right back. I saw no remnants of the ‘Iron Curtain.’ It may have been melted down for TV antennas.” Tara returned after two months, loaded down with a wealth of posters, books, proofs and slides, which culminated in a three-part series of what was probably a first-time look for most western creatives of work from Eastern Europe after World War II.
In 1973, Byron Ferris spent a week in Hamburg, Germany, visiting studios and interviewing designers. “In Hamburg you can feel the affluence in the air. Industry, shipping and design are all prosperous,” Ferris said. The result was a 26-page article on German design since the Bauhaus.
On the following pages is just a small sample of the international work we've shown in the last 50 years, along with a few quotes from some of the fascinating people that were interviewed on our behalf. ca