Dorrit Dekk : a name to conjour with ! Remarkably few of her designs and posters come onto the market. We are left with a seeming abundance of her way ahead of time designs for P&O menus.

I am lucky enough to own a couple of these and the 3D effects are stunning!

Talking of P&O, I was invited to their London offices a while back and got to see their archives, great to see some of the designs in the flesh, one of the standouts was this by Gilroy

P&O GIllroy

I thoroughly recommend taking some time out to view their archives at http://www.poheritage.com/the-collection/galleries/Posters

Back to Dekk

Dekk was born in BrnoCzechoslovakia[1] and trained at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna from 1936-1938. There she was taught by the stage designer Otto Niedermoser and contributed to designs for the theatre and for film director Max Reinhardt.[2] Following the Anschluss in 1938, Dekk escaped to London, where she took up a place at the Reimann School through a scholarship arranged by Niedermoser and specialised in graphic design.

Join the Mobile Labour Force(Art.IWM PST13971)

Following the closure of the Reimann School in 1939, Dekk joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) and became a ‘listener’, taking down coded messages by hand which were then sent to Bletchley Park for deciphering.[3] At the end of the war, she joined the design studio of what was to become the Central Office of Information, working under Reginald Mount. During her two and a half years, she designed numerous government posters, including the iconic Ministry of Health‘s poster Trap the Germs in Your Handkerchief.[4] Dekk also designed posters for the Ministry of Works post-war re-building programme and for the Polish Resettlement Corps.[5]

Dekk left the Central Office of Information in 1948 to spend a year in Cape Town, where she worked as a stage designer and illustrator.[6]Dekk returned to London in 1950 and established herself as a freelance designer. Her clients included Air France, the Orient Shipping Line(latterly P&O Orient Line), the Post Office Savings BankTrust House FortePenguinThe Tatler and London Transport. She also worked as a designer for the Travelling Section of the Festival of Britain,

So a Design icon and also a spy and a healthcare visionary !

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