Actors Prefer Shell

Actors Prefer Shell

Edward McKnight Kauffer

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  • Condition: A-/B+ (light vertical fold)
  • Date: 1935
  • Designer: Edward McKnight Kauffer (1899-1954)
  • Publisher: Shell Oil
  • Size: 1150 x 760 mm

Original, antique, poster: You Can Be Sure of Shell, Actor’s Prefer Shell, designed by Edward McKnight Kauffer, 1933. Surely one of the most famous posters designed by Kauffer and one which regularly features in publications about 1930s design. For this image (part of a series implying that everyone prefers Shell), Kauffer has deployed a cubist-inspired style to suggest the actor’s transformation when undertaking a role. An outstanding poster.

Kauffer produced several posters for Shell Oil in the 1930s, which 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