Formica; card games.

Nobby Clark

Type Advertisements
Title.Series Formica; card games.
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 120mm by 133mm
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 with gouache.
Techniques Hand lettering.
'There's a space in your home for Formica!' 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_106
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 Playing card, cigarette, hand, cuff, table, sleeve, decanter, glass, straw, drink, cup, saucer, pen, pad, gambling.
Subject Formica.
The 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. Copies of the other series are also held by the NZGDA.
Description This advertisement is composed of a black and white illustration with text. There is no Formica logo on this advertisement. The image is placed on the left hand side of the page. In the foreground of the illustration is a hand holding the Jack of Hearts and a cigarette. The hand is not attached to a body, although the wrist is covered by a cuff and a jacket sleeve. Towards the back of the image there is a decanter standing on a Formica tabletop. In front of the decanter is a glass with a straw in it, in front of the glass is a cup and saucer. To the left of the cup is a small spiral bound notebook with the figures '10,2,3,11,4' written on it and attached to this notebook is a pen on a cord. The cord circles round the hand and sits on the table top, to the right of the hand. (AAF)
This advertisement has several differences to other images in the Formica series. It has no Formica logo. Relief is used in two places; on the cord that attaches the pen to the notebook and on the corner of the notebook where it is juxtaposed with the cuff of the shirt. The outline of the illustration is not as clearly defined as in the other advertisements. Nobby Clark confirmed that this advertisement was completed at the same time as the three others in this series in spite of these differences.(AAF)
Description The main text of the copy is located to the right of the decanter. It suggests the use of Formica as a suitable surface for playing cards and as an inpsiration to any player. Running below the image, from the left hand side are the words 'There's a place in your home for Formica'. The text is bisected by the edge of the sleeve in the illustration. Underneath the image and the copy are the details of the New Zealand agents written on one line and centered left: "New Zealand Agents: Mair and Co. (Importers) Ltd., Christcurch." 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 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 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.