Thursday, February 9, 2012

Better Magazine Covers … through Chemistry

The DuPont Company was already 111 years old when it started publishing a self promotional magazine in 1913. Hagley Museum and Library has a digital archive of all 640 issues published through 2003.

As you might expect, covers run the spectrum from cliché and repetitive to refreshing and unexpected, with some classic beauties in the mix.

While the production of the cover image was often discussed in an editor’s note, artistic attribution was rarely supplied. With very few exceptions, a designer or illustrator would simply (and quite mysteriously) be referred to as “the artist.”

November 1918

July-August 1922
“Answering the Clay Target’s Challenge”

April 1932
Photo of anhydrous ammonia cylinders.

February 1936
(seasonal image)

March 1937
(seasonal image)

September 1941
The Story of NYLON

June-July 1943
Nylon Goes Aloft

January-February 1947
This cover, about the auto industry, is by Domenico Mortellito (1906-1994). The Newark, NJ born artist worked for DuPont designing exhibits, most notably the 1965 World’s Fair Pavillion. Though a number of other illustrated covers over the next couple of years are stylistically very similar to this one, none are credited. Hmmm.

April 1947

February 1948

April 1948

April 1949

February-March 1956
Cover is about the use of "Elvanol" polyvinyl alcohol
to improve the printing quality of paper.

April-May 1957
Cover by Vince Hoffman represents "paint-test farms."

July-August 1960
New Ideas for Industry's Product Lines through
the Designer and Du Pont

November-December 1961
Photographic record of colloidal fibrous boehmite alumina,
as seen through crossed light polarizing screens.

January-February 1962
A kaleidoscope of printing inks

May-June 1962
Cover about street-sweeping technology is by Allen Wexler.

July-August 1964
Fantasy and Fashion

September-October 1965
Lively Teen Fashions Leap to the Fore

January-February 1968
Stadiums Worth Cheering About

November-December 1973
"Chromalin" proofing (some of you might
even know what that is!)

July-August 1974
The Number One Look

July-August 1977
A Fashion Stir in Sleepwear

July-August 1987
The Livin' is Easy With "Blockade"
(flea and tick repellant)

July-August 1993
Painting By The Numbers

Number 4 2001
Artistry on Wheels

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