a collection of graphic design at work – in literature and films

for research purposes

A Rhyme about an Electrical Advertising Sign

I LOOK on the specious electrical light
Blatant, mechanical, crawling and white,
Wickedly red or malignantly green
Like the beads of a young Senegambian queen.
Showing, while millions of souls hurry on,
The virtues of collars, from sunset till dawn,
By dart or by tumble of whirl within whirl,
Starting new fads for the shame-weary girl,
By maggoty motions in sickening line
Proclaiming a hat or a soup or a wine,
While there far above the steep cliffs of the street
The stars sing a message elusive and sweet.

Now man cannot rest in his pleasure and toil
His clumsy contraptions of coil upon coil
Till the thing he invents, in its use and its range,
Leads on to the marvellous CHANGE BEYOND CHANGE.
Some day this old Broadway shall climb to the skies,
As a ribbon of cloud on a soul-wind shall rise,
And we shall be lifted, rejoicing by night,
Till we join with the planets who choir their delight.
The signs in the streets and the signs in the skies
Shall make a new Zodiac, guiding the wise,
And Broadway make one with that marvellous stair
That is climbed by the rainbow-clad spirits of prayer.

Der Wirt trocknet sich die Hände an seiner blauen Schürze. Ein grüner Prospekt liegt vor den sauberen Gläsern, der Wirt schnaubt tief, während er liest: Handverlesener Kehrwieder-Röstkaffee ist unereicht! Leutekaffee [Fehlbohnen und Röstkaffee]. Reiner ungemahlener Bohnenkaffee 2,29, Santos garantiert rein, prima Santos Haushaltsmischung kräftig sparsam im Gebrauch, Melange exquisit, ein preiswerter Plantagenkaffee 3,75, Bahnversand mindestens 36 Pfund diverse Ware. Eine Biene, eine Wespe, ein Brummer kreist oben an der Decke neben dem Ofenrohr, ein vollkommenes Naturwunder im Winter.

The host dries his hands on his blue apron. A green brochure lies in front of the clean glasses, the host snorts deeply as he reads: Hand-picked Kehrwieder roast coffee is unrivaled! People’s coffee [faulty beans and roasted coffee]. Pure unground bean coffee 2.29, Santos guaranteed pure, prima Santos household blend vigorous economical in use, Melange exquisite, an inexpensive plantation coffee 3.75, rail shipping at least 36 pounds of diverse merchandise. A bee, a wasp, a hummer circles at the top of the ceiling next to the stovepipe, a perfect natural wonder in winter. (english translation: deepl.com & J.R.)

Woolrich (1982 [1943]). The Black Angel.

Al Feldstein (1949). The Case of the Floating Corpse. Crime Patrol 14.

Al Feldstein (1949). Dance-Hall Racket. Crime Patrol 10.

Al Feldstein (1949). Money-Hungry. War Against Crime 6.

Freeland (1933). Flying down to Rio.

Sirk (1956). Written on the Wind.

Welles (1958). Touch of Evil.

Leone (1965). For a Few Dollars More.

Truffaut (1966). Fahrenheit 451.

Boorman (1967). Point Blank.

Aldrich (1975). Hustle.