Convair 880 – World’s fastest Jetliner | General Dynamics


Creator Erik Nitsche
Printing year 1959
Sheet size (cm) 128×90
Printing technique Offset
Printer Roger Marsens
Condition A
Asking price 4'900 CHF
Categories Miscellaneous

Original poster by the Swiss artist Erik Nitsche (1908 – 1998), who emigrated to the USA in 1934 and, as art director of the technology group General Dynamics in the second half of the 1950s, shaped the development of a modern industrial graphic style that was brimming with optimism and a belief in the future like no other, thanks to his enormous technical understanding, a high capacity for abstraction and, how could it be otherwise, a great affinity for the cool and precise Swiss style, which began to gain relevance beyond Switzerland in the 1950s.

Nitsche, who had trained at the Collège Classique in his native city of Lausanne and at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Munich and Paris, was hired by General Dynamics in 1954, which proved to be a challenge in two respects: firstly, the company, which had only been founded in 1952, was still virtually unknown to the public – in stark contrast to its older competitors such as General Electric and Westinghouse. Secondly, General Dynamics was also active in nuclear power, which posed a number of problems for the company, because just a few years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was not exactly easy to research nuclear energy without being suspected of working on weapons of mass destruction.

Nitsche mastered these challenges with three poster series that focused on the civilian benefits of nuclear energy and research itself on the occasion of the first two Geneva Nuclear Conferences in 1955 and 1958. The third series followed from 1959 and was dedicated to the Group’s individual divisions – including Convair, whose Model 880 heralded the beginnings of the jet age. These thirty or so posters are still regarded today as the epitome of modern industrial design and have irrevocably secured Eric Nitsche a place in the history of posters.

Several other General Dynamics posters by Erik Nitsche are also available.

maybe of interest as well:

Swissair | Convair Metropolitan (large size)