Huberman Graphic design in Israel

  • Issue: July 1989
  • Designer: G. Almaliah
  • Stamp size: 25.7 x 40 mm
  • Plate no.: 93
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Offset

Although there has always been considerable artistic activity in Israel, as is evident from the fact that Boris Schatz founded the Bezalel Academy in 1906, the era of modern graphic design only really started in the 30's with the influx of professionals from Central Europe. Among these immigrants were capitalists, graphic designers, publicists and printers. The ports of Haifa (1930) and Tel-Aviv (1936) were opened. Haifa's oil refineries were built. Ata, Shemen, Nesher, Phoenicia and many other factories were established. The advertising and printing industries developed to match this developing industrial infrastructure. Some companies, mainly Dubek and Shemen, embarked on systematic advertising campaigns for their products. Their achievements in production, packaging and advertising were displayed in the "Vend Hamizrach" Fair Grounds in Tel-Aviv. Advertising agencies, staffed by experienced professionals, opened their doors.

The need for professional organization led to the creation of three associations catering to professional advertising people: The Association of Jewish Commercial Artists in Palestine (1935), The Palestine Advertising Association (1937), and The Jewish Decorators Association in Palestine (1937).

The Graphic Artists Association's logo accompanied the association from the beginning. The first members of the Association, most of them experienced graphic designers, had to fight on many fronts, in particular for the recognition of graphic design as a profession.

One of the first tasks was to explain to the Israeli public that, if handled effectively and using new, tasteful methods, advertising held wide economic opportunities. "This has to be preceded by a demonstration of what 'good taste' means, and what can and should be demanded from artistic activity"... "As fine quality works appeared and their circulation in Israel and abroad grew, the recognition of the financial importance and value of commercial graphics penetrated into financial and other aspects of life". (D. Deutsch's article in "Commercial Graphic Design in Palestina", 1938).

The Association's first exhibition, presenting Israel's graphics achievements, was held at the Tel-Aviv Fair Grounds in 1936. 18 members of the Association participated. During the 30's and 40's, the graphic symbols and images created to accompany the struggle for the development of locally-produced goods became part and parcel of Israel's cultural life. During the Second World War, the Association contributed to the Jewish settlement war effort, designing recruitment propaganda and newspaper advertisements. The development of the State of Israel's economy and the creation of many new factories, resulted in an ever increasing demand for bright, original graphic designers. New members, graduates of art academies in Israel and abroad, joined the community of graphic designers. In the 4 decades that have elapsed since then, graphic design in Israel has developed apace. Each generation has left its mark on the development of this field in all its aspects: teaching, academization, raising the level of the profession, instituting competitions and establishing contacts with other bodies and organizations.

In 1963, the Graphic Designers Association of Israel (GDAI) joined "Icograda", the International Council of Graphic Design Associations which is holding its 13th international congress in Israel in August 1989. The congress theme is: "Graphic Design Through High Technology?". The Philatelic Service of the Israel Postal Authority has issued this special stamp in honour of this congress.

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Graphic design in Israel