A quick snippet from a full length essay written in 1989 on the short-lived television series, Max Headroom:
“The utterly nihilistic world view of both the people in power and the ‘man-in-the-street’ in the U.S. post-capitalist society — a society of rampant Reaganites, supply-side economics, and wheezing rapist-ministers from the PTL Club — has produced one of the most cynical national moods of the past hundred years. And this society finds its reflection in Max Headroom.”
“Górowski specializes in posters for cultural events (but not the cinema, which was always the domain of his colleagues in Warsaw where many of the studios were located). Communism in Poland was fairly strict – though less so than in Czechoslovakia – but in the realm of culture, the possibility still remained for political jobs. In 1982, a year after martial law was imposed in an attempt to snuff out the Solidarity opposition movement, Górowski made little secret of where he stood. He composed a dramatic poster in shades of sepia for a play called Policija (Police) by Slawomir Morzek, in which the face of an anguished man is looped in rope. The rope sticks in his eyes, in his ears, in his mouth and around his neck. Górowski’s message of a people in captivity and deprived of their ability to see, hear, and speak was there for all to see.
In those days, every poster had to be given prior approval by the Communist Party’s censor. Górowski recalls taking the draft to the censor’s office, and rather unusually, being asked to wait 15 minutes. ‘The official came back and said they would give me the [approval] stamp on one condition: that the poster be shown inside the theater only, and not outside. Then the official told me that when the poster was printed he’d like a few.’ By that stage, even the censors were beginning to waiver.”
— Excerpted from a Graphis profile on Mieczysław Górowski
An excerpt from Ellen Shapiro’s 1989 book, Clients and Designers:
“Sandra Ruch, who for many years was responsible at Mobil Corporation for its brilliant Masterpiece Theater posters, prided herself on being demanding. ‘I could be very blunt and say, “This doesn’t work,” she said, describing her working relationship with Ivan Chermayeff and other top designers and illustrators. ‘There were times when it took us four or five months before we came up with the right image. Four or five months of working it over and over. I remember Ivan going back many times, and Seymour Chwast going back many times on Nicholas Nickleby. There’s nothing wrong with that.'”
Process pages on the Masterpiece Theatre campaign for Nicholas Nickleby by Seymour Chwast from his 1985 book The Left-Handed Designer: