chapter  8
16 Pages

Designer-culture

WithPenny Sparke

Through the 1950s the existence of designers and the added value that resulted from their interventions were promoted through advertisements, magazines, exhibitions, television programmes and the work of a growing number of institutions briefed to encourage good design. While in the inter-war years American pioneer consultant designers had been highly visible in the media, the phenomenon had been less widespread in Europe where product design had still been in the hands of architects, engineers and craftsmen. The enhanced level of popular interest in design at that time was in part a result of manufacturers’ public relations exercises that promoted their stables of designers. Interior design, graphic design, fashion design and automotive design all expanded as specialised areas of professional design practice in the post-war years. The idea of using a designer’s name to sell a product had originated in the world of high fashion in the nineteenth century.