Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wimbledon: Great British Design

1933 poster designed by Frederick Charles Herrick
1931 poster designed by Herry Perry
Even though we live on the West Coast of America, we always enjoy a healthy dose of English tradition every summer in our design office.

The elegantly clad players and umpires, the grass courts, the Royal Box: Wimbledon.

One can almost taste the strawberries and cream, scones, English tea, fish and chips, Pimm's, and Scottish smoked salmon.

First, a bit of history about the club and its famous tournament…

Wimbledon (the club) is located just south of London in the town of the same name. It began in 1869 as the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. In 1877, the first lawn tennis championship was held here, as was the lawn tennis event of the 1908 Olympic Games. The present site, on Church Road, was established in 1922. The 2012 Olympic Games will also be held at Wimbledon this summer.

Mowing the grass courts to perfection

• Horticulture
Yes, the grass is real (100% rye). Championships playing height is 8mm.

• Food
Strawberries and cream — nothing says "Wimbledon" better. The berries are Grade I from Kent and "of the highest quality." 8,615 punnets (baskets) containing a minimum of 10 berries are consumed daily by spectators. Cost is £2.50 each. Served with fresh cream, naturally.

• Design
White tennis balls were replaced with yellow ones beginning in 1986. 54,250 balls are used during the Championships each year.

The Royal Box seats 74, and is furnished with dark green Lloyd Loom wicker chairs. Ladies are asked to be "hat-free" so others may enjoy a clear view of the action. Lloyd Loom has an elegant website:

• Purple and Green Colour Scheme
This harmonious pairing of hues, which all designers recognize as a classic secondary colour combination, is a long-standing tradition at Wimbledon. Nobody knows for certain, but the regal purple is probably a nod to the British Monarchy and its support of the Championships, and the green signifies the grass courts. Of course!

• Fashion
"Tennis whites" for players are still the dress code at Wimbledon, although bits of color can be seen on clothes these days (piping, for example). White shoes, socks and hats are a must!

• Souvenirs
When stylish tennis-themed souvenirs are a must, this is the only shop you'll need. Reproductions of posters from the 1930s are especially stylish (see photos above). The Wimbledon Collection at the London Transport Museum:

• Architecture & Engineering
In 2009, the retractable roof debuted on Centre Court. The tensile, durable fabric has a 40% translucency, allowing light to reach the grass below, and is 100% recyclable.

• Broadcast
Global television audience estimated at 379 million people in 182 countries.

• Rufus the Hawk
A trained bird named Rufus visits the club most weeks during the year to deter local pigeons from roosting. Rufus flies for an hour beginning at 9 a.m. during the Championships, before the gates open.

We wouldn't want the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, in attendance today, to be subjected to pigeon droppings in the Royal Box. Especially since the ladies don't wear hats!

Good show, Rufus!


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Good design is good business.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Grandparents' 1940s Christmas Card

Great Aunt Elza sent along this vintage 1940s Christmas card recently. It is a superb example of vintage typography and bold design in a Russian Constructivist-inspired color scheme.

What a fun addition to Emilie's 1920s - 1950s graphic design collection!

Best of all, the card is from the archives of Emilie's grandparents, Elizabeth and Charles Pallos. Elizabeth was an accomplished pianist, organist and master gardener, and Charles was a noted musician/arranger, both on the East coast and in Hollywood.

Design during the 1940s was influenced by the Streamline Moderne style. In this holiday card, the piano is varnished to a glossy black (just like a concert grand), and the rest of the card is printed in solid matte silkscreen inks. You really have to see the card in person for the full impact! Ask Emilie.

Calligraphic-inspired typography ("Christmas Greetings") was really popular during this time. Here, hand-lettering jazzes up the minimalist design.


Strong, modern design. Classic typography. A clear written message. Great photography.

At Emilie Pallos Graphic Design, these are our strengths. We collaborate with clients in many professions (from healthcare to the arts) and help them reach the perfect audience. Online and in print.

Visit our NEW website at to read more about our firm and see our newest creative projects.

Good design is good business.