HotHouse Talk—”The life of Abram Games” by his daughter

This was a very interesting talk given by Naomi Games, the daughter of Abram Games. Her father was one of the most famous British graphic designers of the 20th century, the creator of the iconic “Join the ATS” poster in 1941 among many others.

(The quality of these images is not great, as they were done by my phone. I forgot my camera at home…).

"Join the ATS" poster.
“Join the ATS” poster.

Abram was born in Whitechapel in 1914, ten years after his parents emigrated to Britain from Eastern Europe.


In his young years he became very interested in art, drawing and photography—especially in experimenting with the traditional airbrush. His work eventually enabled him to work with the likes of Frank Pick, designing a poster for the Public Transport.

Pre-war work. These posters got him noticed by winning the competitions.


In 1939 however, he was recruited for the WWII. He went willingly and fought, but in 1941 he was asked to design posters for the army. Over the next few years he went on designing more posters, and made a name for himself.

The WWII era.



After the war was over, he was already very well-established poster designer, often using his great airbrushing skills in his designs. He never designed for product advertising, but rather for the ethical purpose of passing on a message. He was a socialist, and a man of conviction.

Here you can see some of his propaganda posters urging people to help the Jewish people terribly effected by the horrors of the war.




This poster was created by using the gall bladder stones from a dead person.

One of the important facts about his work is that he always made sure that he owned the copyrights. His motto was “Maximum meaning, minimum means”. How true.



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