Lewitt-Him was a collaborative design partnership between the two Polish-born artists Jan LeWitt and George Him. The two artists met in a café in Warsaw in 1933 and a ‘friendship sprang up between them and they were so impressed with the similarity of their ideals and ideas that they finally decided to work together as a team.’ They discovered that the work that they produced between them was quite different (and superior to) the work that they produced individually. They developed a ‘keen sense of comedy and burlesque’. They worked in Poland where the advertising profession was less specialised than in the UK and covered not only their own designs, but their own copy-writers and typographers. They moved to London in 1937, when their work was shown in London by Lund-Humpries, and national advertising commissions followed.
During the Second World War Lewitt-Him designed posters, in particular for ROSPA, the GPO and the MOF. Art and Industry noted that their work ‘enjoyed a marked success’, with their best efforts ‘embracing a humorous motive’, although they were ‘versatile’. Early designs for the Ministry of Information were never used, although the Polish Ministry of Information used their designs extensively. By late 1942, their main work was illustrating children’s books, although they continued with poster work and designed murals for war factory canteens. In 1948 a diploma was awarded to Jan Le Witt and George Him at the International Poster Exhibition for a poster they designed for LT. Post-war, they designed murals for the Festival of Britain (1951), and it’s Guinness Clock. Their work was exhibited in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in 1948, and in New York and Philadelphia in 1953. In 1946, their work was discussed in Art and Industry, particularly the relation of their work to surrealism, and again in September 1953. In 1954 the partnership was dissolved.
Information collated from: Darracott, J., and Loftus, B., Second World War Posters, 1972 (1981 edition), p.44; ‘Lewitt-Him – A Collaboration of Ideals and Ideas’, Art and Industry, Vol. 33, No.194, August 1942, pp.38-41; ‘Jan Le Witt’, Poster Database, LTM, accessed February 2000; Livingston, A., and Livingston, I., The Thames and Hudson Encyclopaedia of Graphic Design and Designers, 1992, p.120; Amstutz, W., Who’s Who in Graphic Art?, 1962, p.242, 249; Williams-Ellis, A., ‘Lewitt-Him and the Uses of Nonsence’, Art and Industry, Vol. 42, No. 250, April 1947, pp.104-111; de Holden Stone, J., ‘Pair of Aces’, Art and Industry, Vol. 55, No.327, September 1953, pp.82-89