Vintage Posters and Trade Materials from Pat Keely

February 17, 2011
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Vintage Posters and Trade Materials from Pat Keely

Night Mail is an acclaimed British 1936 documentary on the traveling post office. When I saw the poster design, with it's dark colors, handcrafted type and geometric shapes, I decided to look into who designed it. The artist in question: Patrick Cokayne Keely, or Pat Keely.

Design, Keely, poster

Pat Keely specialized in posters, publication ads and trade fliers, including WWII materials. Among other clients, he designed for the London Transport from 1933-1962, and did work for the British General Post Offices, creating prints like the Night Mail poster and the designs below.

Design, Keely, poster
Design, Keely, poster
Design, Keely, poster
Design, Keely, poster
Design, Keely, poster
Design, Keely, poster
Design, Keely, poster
Design, Keely, poster
Design, Keely, poster
Design, Keely, poster
Design, Keely, poster
Design, Keely, poster
Design, Keely, poster

Vintage graphic design is a great place to look for inspiration. Before undo, copy/paste, color fill and the pen tool, there were rulers, pencils/ink pens and paint. In the little imperfections there is character, and in the perfection there is care and deliberateness.

Some other posts you might enjoy on our design blog:

The Lost Monument Poster by Michael Lee
Google Chrome Commissioned Designs from Mike Lemanski
50 Matchbooks: Vintage Graphic Design

Images via NMSI, The National Archives, The British Postal Museum and Archive, London Transport Museum, and MOMA

Jessica Patterson

Jessica Patterson

Hi, I'm Jessica. I'm a Designer and Writer at Drawbackwards and write for the Design Blog at Design.org. I enjoy vintage things, letterpress, publication design, and long walks around the Cesar Chavez Park pond. You can follow me on twitter at @jessdoodled for lots of fun randomness.

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