Formica; cooking

Nobby Clark

Type Advertisements
Title.Series Formica; cooking
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 from a magazine & pasted into a portfolio.
Materials.Medium Ink.
Materials.Support Paper.
Materials.Medium 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 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 images.
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.
Date.Publication 1950's.
This advertisement was published in the late 1950's.
Location.Creation Site Haythorn-Thwaite Advertising.
Location.Current Site NZGDA collection.
Location.Former Site Europe
This work was also used in Europe.
ID Number.NZDA Number nzgda_dp_nc_i_105
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.
Style/Period.Period 1950's
Culture New Zealand.
The culture in which the image was created.
Subject Kitchen knife, tomato, pear, cooking, fruit, peel, saucepan.
Subject Formica.
In depicting the material Formica with kitchen equipment the image links ideas of hygeine and cleanliness with the 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 This advertisement is comprised of a black and white illustration, the Formica logo and some text. In the left-hand third of the page a cooking knife runs from top to bottom down the page, it has a back handle and the blade is two different shades of grey. To the right of the wider part of the blade are half a tomato and half a pear. Behind the fruit is a saucepan which is rendered in two different shades of grey and white. Curling over the pan and the knife is a long piece of apple or orange peel. The areas of the peel that run over the other images are white, the rest of the peel is made up using different shades of grey. (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 The copy runs below the fruit, across the middle and right-hand third of the page. It refers to the kitchen and cooking and tells how Formica can withstand anything. It ends with the words: "Durable, colourful and most economical." Below the text to the right is the Formica logo. Underneath this are the words:"The laminated plastic with the worldwide name" in capitals. Running across the bottom of the text and image from the left hand side is hand lettering that reads: 'There's a place in your home for'. The word 'Formica' needed to complete the sentence is taken from the company logo. The hand lettering is bisected by the point of the knife between the words 'place' and 'in'. Underneath the image and the copy below, 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, FJ, KY)
Source Nobby Clark
From discussions between Nobby Clark and AM 08. and 09. 2000. From discussions between Nobby Clark and AF 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.
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.