FHK Henrion and Abram Games were among the most influential graphic designers of the 20th century. By the time he died in 1990, Henrion had designed everything from magazine covers for Harper’s Bazaar and packaging for Corn Flakes to World War II propaganda posters and logos for Tate+Lyle and KLM airlines.
The autodidactic Games, who died in 1996, was the man behind classic ad designs for Guinness, Shell, and the Times, but he also had a political conscience: during World War II, he created recruitment posters and campaigns to prevent food waste. In 1960, he designed the Freedom from Hunger poster for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
In this video, taken from an Anglia TV documentary from 1992, Henrion and Games discuss the medium of the poster, which they call “the great democratic art form of the 20th century.” The two designers took very different approaches to the form: Games preferred hand-drawn images and hand-lettering, while Henrion’s posters usually featured photo montage and typography.
“In 1942 we met, and we’ve continued to argue about the way posters should be designed ever since,” Games says in the video. “[Games] thought if you cut out a photograph and stick it on, it’s kind of cheating. I didn’t,” Henrion says. “But finally, I think we admire each other’s work,” Games concedes.
The video has just been released on Vimeo by Unit Editions, courtesy of Marion Henrion, FHK Henrion’s widow. In 2013, Unit Editions published FHK Henrion: The Complete Designer, a sprawling monograph of Henrion’s work.