Now showing at the Margaret Howell shop on Wigmore Street, London, an exhibition of posters by H. A. Rothholz. Produced during the war years and post-war period, they're essentially public information posters, concerning health and safety in factories and suchlike. Additionally, new social and technical advances - radiographs to ships; post offices; that kind of thing. Despite this mundane if worthy subject matter, they're absolutely beautiful things, and redolent of the care, wit, attention to detail and skill that went into public design during this period (cf. Abram Games, Tom Eckersley et al.)
It's actually odd, now, to see such high-quality work for something so defiantly everyday. Most health and safety posters at offices are now the victims of people armed with much clip art but little skill, time or care. So to see a series of carefully-rendered exhortations to roll up your sleeves or cover your hair - "Be in the fashion" - or the slightly unsettling despair of "Here lies the victim of an untied shoe-lace" (!), makes you not only stop and think about the time and conditions in which they were produced, but also the state of everyday public design now. I note that Paul Rennie, who presumably ran Rennie's - produced a piece on this genre of design for Eye (#52). Must dig that out. (Incidentally, Rennie's seems to have moved to Folkestone.)
Leaving all that aside, if you're in London, take a look. They are just beautiful pieces of work. The fact that, as noted, Margaret Howell makes the best clothes, sells some of the finest furniture and homewares, in one of the loveliest shops in London, should only speed you on your way.
Update: Some posters by Rothholz (top-left is in the Howell exhibition):
Heads-up via Steve Gibbons - ta!]