Mid-century modern: a new gift set celebrates 20th century design icons
Iconic designs of the 20th century are being made reconfigured as souvenirs thanks to Thames & Hudson and graphic design studio Here Design. An era that harboured many of the 20th century’s most irrefutable design titans – the Eames, Eileen Gray and Dieter Rams to name but several – has been playfully packed up into a small-and-smart celebratory gift set.
Comprising 100 postcards, a set of four concertina books and three notebooks, the Mid-Century Modern collection pays homage to classic models originally surveyed in Dominic Bradbury’s Mid-Century Modern Complete – here reconstituted as a travel-friendly selection of fun illustrations. Here Studio was inspired by the colours of the era for the design, with mustard yellows, monochromes, turquoises and bold reds prominently displayed across the cards and book jackets. The illustrations are often in black or white, the furniture and homewares rendered in simplistic outlines easily recognisable to the design savvy.
The four foldout concertinas work as reference books, with each illustration accompanied by descriptive text by Frances Amber, guest editor at MidCentury magazine. Divided into ’Tables & Storage’, ’Product & Industrial Design’, ’Lighting’ and ’Chairs’, the books travel internationally across the modern era, from Louis Poulsen’s 1958 ’Artichoke’ lamp to Gio Ponti’s 1950 ’Leggera’ chair.
The matching postcards are equally as handsome, often depicting close details of the illustrated designs – all the better for sending your friends the polka dot print from the 1956 ’Marshmallow’ sofa by George Nelson for Herman Miller, or a repeated image of an Arne Jacobsen’s 1958 classic, ’The Swan’.