Print, Thomson, plate from Arts et Métiers Graphique (Graphic Arts and Crafts), July 15, 1931
In this print advertisement for the French electric company Thomson, legendary French graphic designer A. M. Cassandre created a simple, clever image based on a linguistic pun. The French main-d’oeuvre domestique translates as domestic labor or household help. By inserting the prefix electro to form the word electro-domestique, Cassandre creates an expression that suggests that household labor and electric household appliances are one and the same. Cassandre conveys this duality through his graphic image of a blue and black hand that is abstractly electrified through a red electrical cord and plug. The resulting electrification is conveyed with a silver star emanating from the tip of each finger. Although the image is largely flat, Cassandre suggests volume in the hand through the use of both blue and black to create form. The name Thomson, which was the French sister company of the American General Electric, is featured on the diagonal axis with the hand. Cassandre uses silver letters for the first syllable (Thom) and red for the second (son). Although the forms of the poster are simple, Cassandre is detailed in his rendering of the electric plug. It bears the logo of Alsthom, another electric company which by 1931 had merged with Thomson.
This object was donated by George R. Kravis II.
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Cite this object as
Print, Thomson, plate from Arts et Métiers Graphique (Graphic Arts and Crafts), July 15, 1931; Designed by A. M. Cassandre (French, b. Ukraine, 1901–1968); lithograph on paper; 2018-22-43
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s.