Abram Games

A while ago I came across a programme on television about Abram Games. His designs really interested me, so I researched his work further. Abram Games (1914-1996) was a British graphic designer. His work was very influential and he created many memorable designs. He was a freelance artist at the beginning of his career. He created a number of memorable posters when he became an official war artist during WW2. He designed maps and book covers first and later designed war, propaganda, advertising and information posters.

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One of his most famous posters is the ‘Join the ATS’ recruitment poster. It had to be changed several times as it was deemed too glamorous and it sparkled a lot of controversy. The other well-known poster is ‘See Britain by Train’, encouraging using railway as a way of transport. The map of Britain is filled with an image of a train carriage and floats above train tracks. It creates a dynamic and straight-forward illustration.

What I find gripping about Abram Games is how he used his talent to help others. He was a child of Polish and Latvian immigrant Jewish parents and he worked in support of Jewish refugees, trying to help the displaced survivors after the war, he believed that they should start a new life in Palestine.

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He designed a number of posters to promote this cause, as well as designing stamps for the Israeli Post Office and graphics for the Israeli schools and synagogues. The examples are ‘Give Clothing for Liberated Jewry’ and ‘Out of the Depths to Palestine’ posters. Most of his powerful work for this cause was done for free.


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