Poster of the Week: To Summer Sales by Underground

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To summer sales by Underground, Horace Taylor, 1926
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Summer is finally here and London is bathed in sunshine and bustling with shoppers eager to snap up a bargain. This week’s poster was created in 1926 to advertise the Summer Sales as a destination that could be reached by Underground. The Artist Horace Taylor started his career as a stage designer and cartoonist for the Manchester Guardian. As a commercial artist he went on to design a number of posters for the Underground Group between 1924 and 1926.

The bold flat colours and simple outlines of this striking image still grabs your attention and convey a sense of modernity and style. The poster was aimed at women shopping in the West End at a time when they were increasingly seen as an important market for advertisers. The vivid yellows, bright oranges and bold prints in this design, catch the eye and reflect the summer’s seasonal trends. Fashion became increasingly attainable with the development of new fabrics such as rayon (man-made silk.) Stores would often offer other luxury services such as hairdressers and tea rooms, which transformed shopping from a menial task to an enjoyable day out. The roof of one of London’s most famous department stores is said to have hosted a terraced garden, cafes, a mini golf course and even an all-girl gun club.

As shopping developed from a necessity to a popular leisure activity, many women found public transport offered them a degree of flexibility and the freedom to ‘shop til they dropped’. For the Underground Group posters provided the opportunity to increase passenger numbers during off peak hours. Today London is at the forefront of fashion design and retail enticing thousands of fashionistas to the sales every summer.

Chloe Taylor, Trainee Curator

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