Art Deco in Napier

Art Deco in Napier

We are still travelling around New Zealand and in the last few days we stayed in a lovely seaside town called Napier. Unfortunately the weather while we were there was really dreadful. The sea, normally a brilliant blue, was brown and muddy looking. It had a wild and primal look which totally suited the photos we saw in the wonderful museum and library which told the story of the town’s destruction and subsequent rebuilding in the early 1930s.

The town of Napier was almost totally destroyed in an earthquake and the people who survived the event were left with only the clothes they were wearing. The earthquake was followed by a tsunami which only added to the death toll as many people had gone to the beachfront thinking that they would be safe there.

In the aftermath, a decision was taken to completely rebuild the town in the Art Deco style which was popular at the time. As a result there are many beautiful buildings and the Art Deco theme is repeated everywhere, including the street signs. In the museum we also enjoyed a lovely exhibition of teapots and cups, many of which reinforced the Art Deco theme.

Posters old and new

I’ve been having an interesting conversation with the lovely Emma about lactivism (that’s a newly coined term for people who think that women should be able to breastfeed their babies in public places without being abused – something I agree with wholeheartedly). She has produced a great radio story for International Women’s Day about it. You can listen to it here:

We were talking about the fact that women have been protesting about this for many years, although its true that the issue has had a lot of press in Australia recently.

This led me to exploring posters that support breastfeeding which I thought I would share with you because they are interesting from a design perspective as well as from an historical perspective.

This first example is from the 1930s and is very typical of the poster design of that period, known as Art Deco.

Breastfeeding poster

Art Deco posters typically have very flat colours, geometric shapes, bold forms, airbrushing and stylised people.

Here are a couple of more recent posters that I just like the design of. Both use photography and some nice typography to get their message across. I like the fact that they are both bold and to the point.

Breastfeeding poster

Pink - breastfeeding poster


All of these posters are from Double Think. Check it out if you would like to see more.

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