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Orient 20,000 Tonners

Date: 1929-1935
Overall: 1277 x 927 mm
Sight: 1001 x 757 mm
Sheet: 1048 x 804 mm
Medium: Colour lithograph on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Percy Trompf Artistic Trust
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Poster
Object No: 00005954

User Terms

    This travel poster promoting the Orient Line's fleet of 20,000 tonne ships was produced in the 1930s. The sleek lines, bold colours and stylised hulls reflect the Modernist style used during this period by the Orient Line, in both its ship interiors and publicity material.
    SignificanceThe poster is a rare example of a design produced by leading Australian poster artist, Percy Trompf. The image is representative of a new focus on bold geometric forms, abstraction and block colour.
    HistoryDuring the 1930s the Orient Line embraced a Modernist style. Shipping posters commissioned by the Orient Line began to focus on the abstract presentation of the company name and use of block colour, rather than information about the facilities offered to ticket classes. This poster's bold composition reflects the shift away from pictorial compositions and traditional ship portrait imagery used in general poster design during the 1930s and 1940s.

    Unlike earlier promotional posters, this does not hint at the exotic pleasures of travel abroad but alludes to the size, power and machine age-design of the Orient Line's new 20,000 tonne fleet. During World War I most of the Orient Line ships were requisitioned as either armed merchant cruisers or troopships. Four ships were lost during the conflict. In the 1920s the company sought to replenish its tonnage and commissioned the construction of five sleek new turbine-driven ships: ORAMA, ORONSAY, OTRANTO, ORFORD and ORONTES were completed between 1924 and 1929. The magnificent 20,000 tonners were designed to carry over 1,200 migrants in modest third class accommodation and almost 600 first class passengers in opulent surroundings. By the mid-1930s the third class capacity on these ships was reduced and renamed tourist class.
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