Great Britain 1865 – 1922
Yoeman of the guard - D'Oyly Carte 1897 Materials & Technique: prints, posters,
John Hassall was the first great railway poster artist and drew many travel advertisements, but none were as successful as Skegness is SO bracing. The slogan ‘SO bracing’ was the inspiration of an unknown staff member of the London North and Eastern Railway Company, the company that commissioned the poster. During his only visit to the town in 1936, Hassall noted that ‘the reality of Skegness has eclipsed all my anticipations. It is even more bracing and attractive than I had been led to expect.’
Hassall took up poster design in 1895. In his first year he produced 400 posters. Hassall said of his design method: ‘First of all ideas, either in design, colouring or catch phrase – ideas first because without them the rest of the qualifications are not much use.’ Skegness is SO bracing is recognised as one of the great masterpieces of English poster design and variations on it are still in use today.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra