Research – Expression of Speed

Expression of speed is an art movement created in the mid nineteenth century.  Artists and designers loved the idea of showing speed, with the invention of high velocity energenering, it captured their imagination. Italian Puturists artists used the concept the most in their design work. McKnight Kauffer, one of europes most well known graphic designers in the 1920-30’s, used the concept in his work and combined it with abstraction and naturalism.

Graphic artists used what ever method possible to visualise speed, the arrow became the most popular symbol for speed  as it suggested acceleration, momentum and multiple arrows suggested competition and racing. This idea will be helpful in the ideas process of creating my sports car advert.

Monza (1948) Max Huber


“This poster by the swiss designer was for the Italian motor-racing event, shows that the futurists’ preoccupation with velocity and their fascination with speading arrows was still relevant in the 1940’s.”

This poster was created to advertise an Italian racing event in 1948. Max Huber has used the expression of speed concept in his by overlapping colourful and monochrome curved arrows to suggested the shape of the race track the event is happening and how fast the vehicles will be going. The concept helps convey the message of a high speed racing event much more effectively than if the artists were to for example draw the race track with cars on it. The expression of speed concept makes this poster successful as it is clean and direct in conveying the message, but is also interesting and creative. I find this poster design inspiring as I’m interested in the way the colours complement each other and there shape.

Rainboating the Skies (1971) Dan Reiginger


“An advert introducing the new Boeting 747 to El Al. This iconic image is at the centre off an interntet controversy, with some claiming it as in face an Air Cansada poster.”

  • Describe the piece of design and its purpose/background info?
  • How has the designer used this idea/concept within their work?
  • The designer has used the concept expression of speed in this piece by suggesting the flight pattern and movement of the Boeting, the lines, the colours used all suggest different feelings and ideas but together suggest what the artist was intalining. The fact the artist has used a slow curving line this tells me what type of movement the plane does as it has a friendly idea behind it. The rainbow colours used for the lines suggests happiness and therefore a friendly atmosphere which all leads to the idea that the plane advertised is a passenger transport plane.
  • How does this idea/concept help convey the meaning and messages?
  • What successes does this bring to the piece?
  • What is your opinion of the work? Is it successful, does it inspire you?

Soaring to Success! (1929) E. McKnight Kauffer 


This poster was created to show the soaring aspirations for the new Labour newspape, The Daily Herald.
The designer, Kauffer has used the concept Expression of speed in his work by using abstract imagery of planes, that to me look like magpies which in a way is surprisingly negative imagery to have portrayed as magpies are known for taking anything shiny. Anyway, the abstract images of planes seem to have been overlapped and dragged out and have a contrasting colour when the overlap, this making the planes look like s racing flag if you were to see the poster at a glance. This uses the idea behind the expression of speed concept as it suggests high speed and racing.
The combination of text and the expression of speed concept conveys the message that this newspaper will be successful and be innovative, as the slogan used is “soaring to success” and this makes the viewer think of racing and winning.
This brings many success to the poster as it is aesthetically pleasing but successfully conveys the message which I think is key in any poster design and the expression of speed concept does this perfectl.
The colours, the shapes, the simplicity all inspire me and my ideas on how to suggest speed in a car advert.


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