In a Position to Know, Cover Design for "Life Magazine," April 7, 1921

Coles Phillips American

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Coles Phillips embodies innovative American periodical and advertising design between 1911 and 1927, a period considered a Golden Age of illustration. In 1907 he became a staff artist at Life Magazine, and the following year created his first "fadeaway girl" design in which the color of the figure's clothing and background are the same. This punningly titled image of a maid peeking through a keyhole is a fine example, with the figure's uniform disappearing into the surrounding ground. Not only is the viewer encouraged to imaginatively fill-in the form, but the magazine reduced costs by using only a few colors of printing ink. Such images, designed for Life and Good Housekeeping to advertize products sold by Overland automobiles and Luxite hosiery, often centered on a type of young, alluring female that became known as the "Phillips Girl."

In a Position to Know, Cover Design for "Life Magazine," April 7, 1921, Coles Phillips (American, Springfield, Ohio 1880–1927 New Rochelle, New York), Gouache

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