Will Bradley (Group Work)

Will Bradley was an illustrator and artist during the Art Nouveau period, his work aesthetically drew heavily from the Arts and Craft movement and Japanese block printing.

The video below shows a comprehensive slideshow of his work.

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Printing and graphic arts underwent rapid changes in the United States in the late ninetieth century. Bradley took ideas from the arts and crafts movement, art nouveau and Japanese designs.

Will Bradley relates to art nouveau because he used flowing natural curves in his designs. He also used whiplash curves which had also been born from the art nouveau movement which resembled curves form a crack of a whip.

His main work was for magazines, designing both covers and interiors. Bradley also designed posters for publishers and other companies, often of fashionable women in natural surroundings.

Colour lithography for printing large scale posters were being rapidly improved which created a rapid poster craze throughout the United States.

 

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A striking, high contrast poster using black, red, and the white of the paper. The bicycle club logo is repeated in a pattern to create a background, with cycling silhouettes ibradley_1_lgn the foreground. The thin white spaces between the different figures help to separate and define them.

The eye is drawn to the bright red areas, so Bradley has used this to highlight the most important things like the cyclists and dates. The font of the text is thick and straight, making the already very rigid composition more solid.

The softer wing logos in the background are more delicate, helping to soften the piece a little.

 

This poster (right) is more flowing and smooth, using the stylish whiplash curves and organic decoration prevalent in Art Nouveau. The scene depicted is less direct with what it is advertising, instead being a beautiful scene to attract viewer attention.

The contrast in detail and texture makes the image pop, with the densely lined hair and plants sitting right next to the block coloured skin and background. Many of the curls and curves spiral in towards the woman who is the focus of the image, drawing you in.

Again, important points like the first letters of words are highlighted to make it easier and quicker to read and absorb information from the poster. The simple plant decoration in the corner fills what would otherwise be white space, preventing distraction from the actual content.

Poster for The Chap Book 1895

The chapbook was a magazine that often featured illustrations such as this one. The large, smooth shapes with vivid colour are reminiscent of Japanese woodblock prints, a common influence to Art Nouveau design. Smooth and powerful curves also flow through the image, making it feel organic and lively.

The garments the two figures wear bloom out like flowers, inspiring thoughts of plants and the natural world. The areas with the most detail are the platters of fruit, and through drawing the eye towards them attention is also brought to the faces of those carrying them. Their subtle smiles could perhaps be to intrigue you and make you wonder their thoughts.

The Modern Poster 1895

This poster uses minimal colour to avoid distraction from the intense pattern of the peacocks feathers, with their syncopated curves typical to Art Nouveau. Animals and plants were commonly depicted in design from this movement.

The little variation in colour near the top helps divide the image into the body and tail, their styles being quite different. Abstract curves in the top right draw more attention to the detailed head of the peacock, and thus the start of the title above its head (THE MODERN POSTER). Little plant motifs are again used in the blank space in the text box to fill it and avoid attention being drawn to its blankness.

 

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