Harry Rogers ( 1929 - 2012)

Harry Rogers was poster artist who studied at the East Sydney Technical College, Darlinghurst (now the National Art School), and married in 1953. He moved temporarily to California where Harry studied Animation as part of a Summer Theatre Arts and TV Production course at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles). This love of animation is reflected in his poster designs like the one above. Harry worked for a time with Jack Douglas Productions, television documentary producers before returning to Australia in 1956 to start a family and continue working as a freelance poster artist, graphic designer, art director and typographer. Val and Harry’s support for the Museum came not only through their donation of numerous Harry Rogers-designed Qantas posters, but also through their passionate involvement with the Sydney Space Association and Science Fiction Conventions where they met and became close friends with Powerhouse Museum Space curator (and science fiction buff) Kerrie Dougherty. As a freelance designer, Rogers enjoyed a long and productive association with Qantas, designing the Qantas logo-font in the mid-1960s and devised many different poster series from the 1950s through to the 1970s which promoted Qantas as Australia’s premier international carrier. He created a different ‘look’ for each series by devising different techniques – cut paper and collage, geometric shapes, heroic animated animal portraits, lively watercolour illustrations, and the unusual oil painting on glass technique used on the 1970s series which includes the Opera House poster. 

Qantas remained Rogers’ main client for more than 3 decades from the early 1950s through to 1985 for whom he not only produced posters, but also art directed the Qantas ‘Airways’ in-flight magazine and Qantas staff magazine (1976-1984), designed safety brochures and oversaw the entire refurbishment of the Qantas ‘look’ from 1970 to 1984. This total rebranding included the Qantas ‘Cyclone’ typeface and Qantas livery, the ‘Captain Cook Lounge’ upstairs cocktail-bars in Qantas’ earlier Boeing 747s that were later removed to make way for First Class passenger seating. His Qantas legacy lives on. source MAAS museum.

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