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Graphic Design


The streets and popular press of Fennimore county would have been alive with graphic images, verbal and otherwise. Newspapers, magazines, advertising, catalogues, and programs; posters and billboards, stationary, bills and invoices; one could write a history of Agincourt purely in terms of its graphics.

As a designer (by interest, if not vocation) I would clearly have a preference for what I might consider “good” graphics. While sleuthing for some images of the Viennese furniture design-manufacturing firm of Portois & Fix (whose headquarters building designed in 1911 by Max Fabiani is well worth the visit) up came this certificate celebrating the company’s twenty-fifth anniversary. What would I give (pay!) to own an original?


Jeremiah Johnson has already contributed a graphic piece to the community’s storyline: A poster for “He-She and the Screamers”, the first trans-sexual grunge band to play at Agincourt’s youth music venue, The Yellow Brick Roadhouse. Not only did he create a rock band and its graphic persona, but also the youth scene venue itself. Both of these things I could not have done. I could not have done it now because I’m ancient; I could not have done it as a twenty-something because I had no cultural connection with my peers. Ah, well.

During the summer I hope to imagine/create other graphics, primarily of the years 1850-1950. Some may be “borrowed” from the inter-webs and photo-shopped into relevance; others (heaven help us) may be my own clumsy design efforts. All of you infected with graphic ability are welcome to imagine along with me. Consider the possibilities:

  • masthead for The Daily Plantagenet, Agincourt’s long-standing newspaper.
  • commercial advertisements for grocery and hardware stores, etc.
  • posters for exhibits and  public performance (plays, opera, vaudeville, lectures, etc.) at The Auditorium, the college, and other public meeting places.
  • electioneering paraphernalia—and you get to invent the candidates and their issues, which scares the crap out of me.
  • business and personal letterhead and certificates of various sorts (stock, graduation, marriage, et al.).
  • high school yearbooks; “church ladies” cookbooks.

Are there others I’ve forgotten/overlooked?

Not incidentally, your designs might be reproduced and offered for sale during the course of the next exhibition (if/when there is one). All proceeds over the cost of reproduction will go to a scholarship fund at the Department of Architecture & Landscape Architecture at NDSU. [I don’t get nothin’ out of this thing but satisfaction.]

Incidentally, I don’t see Kolo Moser’s monogram on this certificate, but it has to be his work.


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