Formica; party.

Nobby Clark

Type Advertisement
Title.Series Formica; party.
Name given by NZGDA. This is part of a series of four Formica advertisements. The subject matter is different in each image but the style is similar.
Measurements.Dimensions 167mm by 219mm
The dimensions are taken from an image that has been cut & pasted from a magazine into a portfolio.
Materials.Medium Ink
Materials.Support Paper
Materials.Medium Gouache
The original artwork was completed using gouache.
Materials.Medium 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 partly created by painting with gouache.
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 Clark was working for Bill Haythorn-Thwaite's agency. 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 Clark believes that this work was also published in Europe.
ID Number.NZDA Number nzgda_dp_nc_i_103
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. Nobby Clark commented that advertising designers often "swipe" from fine art.
Style/Period.Period 1950's
Culture New Zealand.
The culture in which the image was created.
Subject Food, drink, decanter, wine glass, shellfish, chopsticks, fork, pasta, spaghetti, crayfish, bowl.
Subject Formica.
The image doesn't depict the material Formica, but suggests hospitable, domestic situations that would be enhanced by Formica. The clear, simple composition and cubist references suggest that Formica is a 'modern' material.
Subject Cooking, entertaining, eating, drinking
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. Copies of the other series are also held by the NZGDA.
Description The illustration is made from various juxtaposed images, a design strategy used throughout this series. This image is composed of objects that relate to food and entertaining. The most dominant is that of a fork; it bisects the page horizontally and has a strand of spaghetti twirled around the prongs. Crossing the fork vertically at the centre left of the page is a knife rendered in two tones. Where the two implements meet, the black silhouette of the fork is white. The head of a crayfish is juxtaposed across the top of part of the knife handle. The rest of the crayfish curves out towards the left-hand side of the page. Underneath both the knife and crayfish are two circles representing a bowl as seen from above, with two chopsticks protruding at the middle right hand side. Underneath the handle of the fork is a decanter, the shape of which has been composed from different monochrome patterns. There is a wine glass in partial relief at the bottom left of the decanter. (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.
Description In the bottom right hand corner of the page is the black and white Formica logo, between this and the point of the knife is text that reads "The laminated plastic with the worldwide name" written in capitals. The main copy of the advertisement talks about the benefits of using Formica for entertaining; it provides a good surface for making the food, displays it well and then is easy to clean up. At the bottom of the page, 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)
Formica Laminated Plastic was used extensively for domestic surfaces in New Zealand homes in the 1950's and 1960's.(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, KY, FJ)
Source Nobby Clark.
From discussions between Nobby Clark and AM 08. and 09. 2000. From discussions between Nobby Clark and AAF 01. and 02. 2001.
Source Abigail Fox.
Researcher; image analysis and interpretation. 01. and 02. 2001.
Source Frances Joseph.
Researcher; image analysis and interpretation. 01. and 02. 2001.
Source Katy Yiakmis.
Researcher; image analysis and interpretation. 01. and 02. 2001
Source Amy MacKinnon.
Researcher. 2000.
Source Warren Smith
Proof reader and advisor. 05.2001
Rights Copyright.
Permission to present this work in the NZDA has been given by the artist.