In the 1930's, functional graphics in England took on a particular look—clear, soft, round—and one can see great examples of this in vintage enameled railway signage from the period. Sometimes the signage was in brown, sky blue or green, giving the signage a "softer" more natural appearance. This contrasts with American signage of the period which was often red, yellow, orange, black or white—meant to "pop" not "complement" the surroundings. Furthermore, many of the signs were produced with rounded corners which served to soften the sign's appearance even more.
When traveling in England, I sometimes find these signs for sale at antique markets. I even (occasionally) see them mounted at rail stations, still in use after 80 years.
When I found these English Art Deco cufflinks, shown above, I was immediately reminded of the vintage railway signs I love. Their soft brown backgrounds, with white graphics, finished with rounded edges, were reminiscent (to me) of a very specific time and place. You will learn more about them by clicking on the photo at top.
More "Cufflinks for the Natural Man" tomorrow and in days to come.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248