Gert Sellheim was one of the earliest designers to be commissioned by the Australian National Travel Association (ANTA, estab 1929) to produce designs for Australian travel posters. ANTA posters were displayed locally as well as in London and San Francisco in the early 1930s.
The 'Australia For Sun and Surf' poster was designed by Gert Sellheim in 1931. Graphically, Sellheim successfully manages to associate the sun, surf, leisure and vast open space with Australia. It is a particularly outstanding example of early Australian graphic design, using photomontage and carefully constructed typographical elements to convey a powerful message and image of an idealised Australian way of life.
In the process of designing graphics and posters, Sellheim invented a language of visual iconography. Many of this iconography went on to become enduring symbols of Australian national identity, the most distinctive of these being the healthy fair haired girl in a swimsuit and his distinctive winged kangaroo logo created for Qantas in 1947.
The poster, 'Australia/for Sun and Surf' features a modernist composition, incorporating a photograph of a female in the surf as a unique and appealing aspect of Australian culture and identity. It features a strong horizontal as well as diagonal composition, with the title 'AUSTRALIA/FOR SUN AND SURF' stylishly incorporated above and below the poster's central illustration. The designer's signature 'SELLHEIM' features prominently in the main body of the poster at lower left.