Friday, 10 July 2009

Tom Eckersley - VADS

Finding web based resources on the history and practice of great visual design is always a challenge, This site, VADS is an online resource on visual arts history in the UK. It has some wonderful material and is well worth a visit, here

Though primarily aimed at the academic/education community, it is a first class resource which, over 11 years, has "built up a considerable portfolio of visual art collections comprising over 100,000 images that are freely available and copyright cleared for use in teaching, learning and research".

Their latest project on the web site is a feature on Tom Eckersley. They say about this project:

Tom Eckersley
"Tom Eckersley is one of the foremost British poster designers and graphic communicators of the twentieth century.

From the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaign to advertisements for Gillette and Guinness, VADS is pleased to announce that a further 100 images from the designer’s archives have now been made publically available online.

Eckersley used bold simple designs, coupled with memorable slogans, for iconic brands such as Guinness; General Post Office; British Railways; London Transport; and Gillette.

Eckersley was also a teacher of poster arts and established the first graphic design course in Britain at the London School/College of Printing (now College of Communication, part of University of the Arts London).

This latest addition also includes a number of Eckersley’s artworks as well as other printed items.

The collection was formed by Eckersley and is held at the University of the Arts London Archives and Special Collections Centre.

The archive has been digitised by the University of the Arts London and made available online through the ‘Enhancing VADS’ project, funded as part of the Enriching Digital Resources programme from JI
More info plus - search and browse :

Sample search result - here

Terms of Use?
The terms of use are here. Despite the enthusiasm of their opening statement, be advised they when you get into the detail of their terms of use, life gets a little more complicated.

On the one hand you can use the material for study - etc - but their rules around acknowledgment make no sense to me at all.

For example - in the digital age of blogging, group wiki's et al, what does private study mean. For that matter - what does study mean - can I just play with the images - or do I have to be in an accredited institution, whatever that might mean. In short a perfect example of a brilliant online resource whose IP framework gets in the way of an all singing dancing learning web.

That said, don't be put off - go look - this is a great resource!


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