Original Shell poster: New Shell Lubricating Oils, by Edward McKnight Kauffer, 1937. Undulating ribbon motif connects the message with the product. Modernist design

New Shell Lubricating Oils

Edward McKnight Kauffer

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  • Condition: A-/B+
  • Date: 1937
  • Designer: Edward McKnight Kauffer (1899-1954)
  • Publisher: Shell Oil
  • Size: 1150 x 760 mm

Original, antique, poster: New Shell Lubricating Oils, designed by Edward McKnight Kauffer, 1937. A particularly successful design which uses an undulating ribbon motif to connect the message with the product (a can of lubricating oil which also features the jointed man advertising symbol created by Kauffer). The overall effect is one of smoothness and modernity – the later reinforced by the choice of lettering and the abstract black background.

Probably the greatest poster designer working in interwar Britain, Kauffer produced several outstanding designs for Shell Oil in the 1930s. The posters were displayed on the side of Shell lorries as part of a highly regarded publicity campaign. This copy belonged to the leading post war graphic designer Abram Games (more information here). A higher resolution image is available for viewing on request