Formica; medical

Nobby Clark

Type Advertisements
Title.Series Formica; medical
Name given by NZGDA. This is part of a series of four Formica advertisements. The subject matter is different in each image yet the style is similar.
Measurements.Dimensions 167mm by 219mm
The dimensions are taken from an image that has been cut from a magazine & pasted into a portfolio.
Materials.Medium Ink
Materials.Support Paper
Materials Gouache.
The original artwork was completed using gouache.
Materials Tonal adhesive sheets.
These were used in the creation of the original artwork. The patterned parts of the design were created from a product similar to what is now known as Letratone. These were patterned or tonal adhesive sheets that were placed onto a work and the required shape then cut out with a scalpel and applied.
Techniques Painting.
The original artwork was created by painting.
Techniques Hand Lettering.
'There's a space in your home for' is hand lettered.
Techniques Offset printing
Creator.Personal name Nobby Clark
Role Designer
Nobby Clark remarked that Formica gave him complete creative freedom when working on this account. As did the agency, who allowed Clark to work at home on these pieces.
Creator.Corporate name Haythorn-Thwaite Advertising.
Role Agency.
These advertisements were created when Nobby was working for Bill Haythorn-Thwaite's agency. Nobby Clark did not do all the finished art work for this advertisement. Clark commented that at this time he was working as a 'visualiser' who would complete the work to such a standard that the client could see it. This stage of the work was known as a 'rough'. The work was then passed on to a 'finished artist' who would tidy the work up for print.
Date.Creation 1956.
This is the approximate date given by Nobby Clark.
Location.Creation Site Haythorn-Thwaite Advertising.
Location.Current Site NZGDA collection.
Location.Former Site Europe
Nobby believes this work was also published in Europe.
ID Number.NZDA Number nzgda_dp_nc_i_104
Style/Period.Period 1950's
Style/Period.Movement Modernist
Nobby Clark recollects no overt Modernist influence, however the image, both thematically and stylistically shows Cubist features, for example in the spatial re-arrangment of objects flattened against the picture plane. Clark commented that advertising designers often "swipe" from fine art.
Culture New Zealand
The culture in which the image was created.
Subject Medical and scientific equipment, syringe, hygiene, glass flask, surgical forceps, capsules.
Subject Formica.
In depicting the material Formica with medical equipment, the image links ideas of hygeine and cleanliness with to use of Formica. The clear, simple composition and cubist references suggest that Formica is a 'modern' material.
Relation.part of Other Formica advertisements.
Nobby Clark did two main sets of work for Formica in the 1950's. This piece forms part of a set of four he did for Haythorn-Thwaite Advertising, Auckland, New Zealand. The other series is also held by the NZGDA.
Description On the left hand side of the page there is an illustration which is composed of various juxtaposed images. The dominant image is of a pair of surgical forceps that are black and horizontally bisect the page. Much of the image is in relief, the forceps being the only equipment that is left 'complete' suggesting that they are superimposed on the rest of the image. A syringe runs vertically down the centre left of the page, the needle and plunger are in black, the body of the syringe is in white and grey relief. To the right of the syringe there is a flask with a black stopper, again part of this object is displayed in relief. Over the syringe and flask there is a trapezoid shape that has a smaller trapezoid shape and two small groups of black and white circles (medicinal capsules) within in it.(AAF)
Nobby Clark remarked that he wanted to create something that was "reasonably abstract" to break away from the more standard advertising use of people working in kitchens and laboratories.(AAF)
Description The sharp end of the forceps divides the main copy into two sections. The copy runs down the right hand side of the page and relates directly to the image. It supports the use of Formica in the home and workplace because of its hygeinic properties. Directly below the copy is the Formica logo which incorporates the the manufacturers name. Running below the image (again the text is bisected by part of the illustration, this time the syringe needle), from the left hand side are the words 'There's a place in your home for'. The 'Formica' needed to complete the sentence is taken from the logo. Underneath the image and the copy are the details of the New Zealand agents written on two lines and centered left: "New Zealand Agents: Mair and Co. (Importers) Ltd., Christcurch. Distributor's names are inserted to correspond with the area in which this advertisement appears." Running below all of the image and copy is a thin black line. (AAF)
Description A variety of texture and tone has been used to render the image. This was created using tonal adhesive sheets and gouache. (AAF, FJ, KY)
Source Nobby Clark
From discussions between Clark and AM 08. and 09. 2000. From discussions with AAF 01. and 02. 2001.
Source Abigail Fox.
Researcher; image analysis and interpretation. 01. and 02. 2001.
Source Katy Yiakmis.
Researcher; image analysis and interpretation. 01. and 02. 2001.
Source Frances Joseph.
Researcher; image analysis and interpretation. 01. and 02. 2001.
Source Amy MacKinnon.
Researcher. 2000.
Rights Copyright.
Permission to present this work in the NZDA has been given by the artist.