Archive for the ‘Graphic design’ Category

Bengers Ribana Bathwear ads from the thirties

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Yes, I mean it. I’d go for a good board game over any computer game any day and I have a large collection of old and new board games at my week end place. And what’s more, computer games are banned there. There’s nothing better on a rainy day than to make a pot of Assam, light a fire in the fireplace and settle down for a good board game. Call me old fashioned, but playing a board game is a something people do together, most computer games you play alone.

Only one thing beats a good board game and that’s a dice game. Particularly medieval or Viking dice game and Cameron in particular – Ted 😉

Image found at Beveldrive

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When you were the most popular band in the world you could make money on just about any thing – Ted 😉

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Old time religion Guilt Trip postcard No Date
Image from Collection Jim Linderman

As  a kid I was at Sunday school only once. I was there with my four year older sister and it was a Christmas party. We got soda pop and sweet rolls. When it was time to go home I asked if we would get soda and rolls the next Sunday as well and was told by the ancient lady that run the school that that was only for very special occasions. They never saw me again. Strangely, I feel no guilt – Ted

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. . . and that is not much of a comfort after you’ve blown your pecker off. Besides you’ll need a new one, briefs that is, because they probably don’t keep their fit to the extent that they are bullet proof.

Image found at johnny bombshell

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From “The International Book of Beer Labels, Mats & Coasters” published by Chartwell books in 1979


Bottled products bore paper labels in the seventeenth century. Early drug phials had a label which covered the whole of the glass and early in the following century, patent medicine vendors were using paper labels widely. The first use of labels on alcohol bottles seems to have come in the middle of the eighteenth century, it is known, for example, that a black and white label was being used for port wine in 1756. Up to the 1860s, bottles of wine were sold in cases largely’ to members of the upper and middle classes, and were therefore not distributed widely; around that time, however, concern that a wider public should have access to wine (partly to counteract the widescale consumption of spirits) gave rise to legislation to allow any retailer to sell wine in single bottles, and each bottle had to have a label. Beer labels were probably unknown before the 1840s.

Read the article story HERE

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121_mario_borgoni_001Art Nouveau in its graphic form was introduced to Italy in 1895, where it became known as Liberty Style (after the name of the London departmental store famed for its contemporary designs).

Mario Borgoni, a young Italian artist who had been born in 1869 in Pesaro (on the eastern coast of Italy) and studied at the Neapolitan Art Institute, where he later taught Ornament for many years, was an early practitioner of the fresh new style. As his pairs at the then revolutionary Italian Liberty Movement he had such gifted graphic artists as Giovanni Mataloni and, especially, the German immigrant Adolfo Hohenstein.   

121_mario_borgoni_002Around 1900 he started freelancing for the Neapolitan printer Richter & C, becoming its artistic director around 1906. In his posters for Richter, Borgoni often used a particular Liberty design solution by which he separated the image in two parts: i) a sort of dark cursive frame in the foreground, that often included the lettering and, at times, an observer; and ii) a scene as viewed from the window thus formed.

That style, as applied to hotel labels by him or other artists under his direction, became a sort of trademark of Richter & C that was widely imitated and upon which rested the company’s worldwide success as a supplier of labels to the hotel trade.

Mario Borgoni made a career as a bona-fide artist and painter-decorator, but experts say that his art lacks depth. Whatever they may mean by that, it is undeniable that he was a superior draughtsman of the human figure and is justly remembered for his sensuous treatment of women in some of his best poster work. He has probably designed many labels early in his career but soon he concentrated on posters, some of which were reduced for use as labels. These often carry his monogram (the letters "Mbi" in a circle).        


This label for a Spanish hotel (click it for a larger view) demonstrates Borgoni’s versatility. His simplified rendering of the busy Rambla, the contrast of colors and the effective lettering combine with quite amazing results.

There is some indication that, non-withstanding his talent, Borgoni did not consider himself a true artist, possibly because so much of his work was graphic: in 1916, when Enrico Gianelli did a compilation of biographical notes on Neapolitan artists, Borgoni left unanswered a request for data on himself, which Gianelli attributed to an excess of modesty but more likely stemmed from a lack of self esteem for his own work.

121_mario_borgoni_008 Another clue to his feelings can be found in the fact that, unlike other artists, he often did not sign his poster work. It is likely that his few known signed labels were originally designed as posters and then reduced for use as labels.In 1930 Borgoni left Italy for the United States where (at 61!) he started a new career as publicity and fashion illustrator. He returned in 1936 to die in Naples, where he had worked for most of his life.

Borgoni’s main contributions to hotel label art were the double-plane style, the elegant Liberty lettering and his "degradee" treatment of the early morning or evening skies. The proper lithographic rendering of his reds or oranges softly fading into yellows requires a high level of workmanship and its widespread use in hotel labels is characteristic of Richter alone.   

One of the most endearing and easily recognizable aspects of Mario Borgoni’s superb designs was his treatment of the early morning or late afternoon skies, often with a moon, as exemplified by the label above, lithographically printed after a poster, around 1912; and by the label below.

121_mario_borgoni_009 The Hotel Cristina opened for the 1929 Exhibition in Seville and this was its second label. Albeit unsigned, Borgoni’s style is unmistakable and shines through at a time when Richter’s new designs were a pale makeshift of the marvelous labels of 20 years before. This may well have been Borgoni’s very last label for Richter.

Mario Borgoni was and remained primarily a  poster artist. The fact that most (if not all) of his known (signed) labels are scaled-down posters is apparent: Borgoni’s treatment of detail and light in the large lithographic posters is often impossible to render accurately, by the same technique, at the reduced scale of a label. So, several of his labels were either reproduced photographically from posters and printed by the 3-color process (which lowers considerably their interest and value), or else they were lithographed at the cost of a noticeable loss in graphic quality. For labels printed by the 3-color process, examine that of the Nettuno Hotel in Pisa (above, far right) and that of the National Hotel at the top right side. Compare this label with the same design on a later lithography.

Yet his influence was decisive at the onset of the First Golden Age of hotel labels. His style was the artistic pillar of Richter’s success, and the ubiquity of Richter’s labels made of Borgoni’s style the standard by which all others would be measured.


Borgoni himself never adapted to the modernistic deco trends and Richter was at a stylistic dead-end by the time he left. But even so, he remains the most influential hotel label artist. Actually, the only one without whom the history of this field would certainly have been different.

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In Britain producer’s names often comes to mean every products like it; Wellies, McIntosh, Hoover and so on, but this almost never happens in Norway. But if you look at the poster to the right at the bottom it says “Stomatolfabrikk” and that shows that “Stomatol” dominated the toothpaste market to the extent that for a while the word “Stomatol” became synonymous with the word toothpaste.

From my own collections – Ted

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122_divito_002José Antonio Guillermo Divito, also known simply as Divito (Buenos Aires, July 16, 1914 – Lajes, Brazil, July 5, 1969) was an illustrator, cartoonist, caricaturist and editor who, through his comic illustrations and humor had great influence in the decades from 1940 to 1960. He was the founder and director of the famous magazine Rico Tipo.

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From my own collections – Ted

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I can’ for the life of me understand why there are no more ads like this published in the Western World now a days. Seems like just the thing we need, rids us of chills too. – Ted

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I studied graphic design in pre-computer times so when the studies was over and I started to work the days was ruled by Letraset and texts bought from phototype companies. And marker pens and rubber cement of course, both gazing so much your head was swimming before lunch. And we didn’t find the fonts in drop-down menus, but from Letraset catalogues and font atlases like the one William Morris’ typeface Troy above comes from – Ted

Here are a few others:

Globus Kursiv


Wieynck Frakrtur

From “Cappelens Skrift Atlas” by Sven Smidt published in 1958

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Bognor Regis /ˌbɒɡnər ˈriːdʒɨs/ is a seaside resort town and civil parish in the Arun district of West Sussex, on the south coast of England. It is 55.5 miles (89 km) south-west of London, 24 miles (39 km) west of Brighton, and 6 miles (10 km) south-east of the city of Chichester. Other nearby towns include Littlehampton east-north-east and Selsey to the south-west. The nearby villages of Felpham, briefly home to the poet William Blake, and Aldwick are now suburbs of Bognor Regis, along with those of North and South Bersted.


Origin of name
Bognor is one of the oldest recorded Anglo-Saxon place names in Sussex. In a document of 680 AD it is referred to as Bucgan ora meaning Bucge’s (a female Anglo-Saxon name) shore, or landing place.

125_bognor_regis_001Bognor Regis was originally named just "Bognor", being a fishing (and one time, smuggling) village until the 18th century, when it was converted into a resort by Sir
Richard Hotham.

Bognor was a part of the ancient parish of South Bersted in the county of Sussex, attaining parish status separate from South Bersted in 1828. Until 1894 it formed part of the Hundred of Aldwick, an ancient division of Chichester Rape. From 1894 to 1974 it was part of Bognor Urban District (Bognor Regis Urban District from 1929), and since 1974 it has been a part of Arun District.

On the beach between Bognor Regis and Aldwick lies the wreck of a Floating Pontoon. It is part of the Mulberry Harbour which was towed across to Normandy on D-Day 6 June 1944. This particular section of Mulberry did not make it across the Channel and was washed up on the beach shortly after D-Day. It is clearly visible at low tide throughout the year.

125_bognor_regis_002The historic meeting of the crews (and associated handshake) of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project on 17 July 1975 was intended to have taken place over Bognor Regis, but a flight delay caused it to occur over Metz in France instead.

Bognor Regis town centre was damaged in 1994 by an IRA device left in a bicycle outside Woolworth’s. Fifteen shops were damaged but no injuries occurred.

"Bugger Bognor"
Tourism gradually took off in Bognor during the 19th century, with the area being chosen as an ideal location for King George V to convalesce during 1929, the King and Queen actually staying at Craigweil House in Aldwick.

As a result, the King was asked to bestow the suffix "Regis" ("of the King") on "Bognor". The petition was presented to Lord Stamfordham, the King’s Private Secretary, who in turn delivered it to the King. King George supposedly replied, "Oh, bugger Bognor." Lord Stamfordham then went back to the petitioners and told them, "the King has been graciously pleased to grant your request.

A slightly different version of the "Bugger Bognor" incident is that the King, upon being told, shortly before his death, that he would soon be well enough to revisit the town, uttered the words "Bugger Bognor!" Although there is little evidence that these words were actually spoken in this context, and although the sea air helped the King to regain his health, it is certain that the King had little regard for the town.

“On The Shores Of Bognor Regis” by Alexander M Rossi

Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The postcard is not dated but is most probably from around the turn of the last century. Behind the intoxicated slobs you can see the top of the national theatre to the right and parts of the university to the left. (Note: Christiania is not called Oslo)

From my collection of old postcards  -  Ted

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In 1880 Victoria, now sixty-one, was still queen of a prosperous England, her far- flung empire defended by a navy that made her the mistress of the seas. The Industrial Revolution, the force behind the nineteenth century’s unprecedented productivity, had made the world smaller with the invention of the steam locomotive and the development of railroads. Garfield, a Congressman in 1873, praised the railway as ‘the greatest centralizing force in modern times’.

While long journeys might be undertaken by train or steamship in the 1880s, local mobility depended on the feet, the horse, or, just possibly, the bicycle. The age of the two-wheeler had barely begun, but in 1896, when Will Owen was designing his famous posters for Victor, it was in full spin. Entertainment was concentrated mostly around the home.


Will Owen’s  famous posters for Victor

 The new craze, lawn tennis, was getting to be as popular as croquet, and party games were played as illustrated in Kate Greenaway’s ,Book of Games’ the queen of the 1880_1900_ill_002_thumb1_thumbnursery’s picture book of l889. More practical pastimes were sewing, knitting, carpentry, painting, and photography, especially after George" Eastman’s hand-held box camera came on the market in 1888. Taken together, hobbies amounted to big business. Even letter-writing, an art in Victorian days, used tons of notepaper, collectors of stamps and postcards used quantities of albums, and the piano, the focal point of the ‘withdrawingroom’, where the family sang, danced, and otherwise entertained, was also the sheet music publisher’s greatest delight.

New periodicals, including ‘The Ladies’ Home Journal and the original ‘Life’, a magazine of humour, both originating in 1883, kept springing up, and it was common for a novel first to be serialized in a magazine, then issued in book form later on. An older generation, brought up on Dickens, Hawthorne, Melville, and Poe, now read the younger novelists, such as Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, and Conan Doyle.

1880_1900_ill_003_thumb1_thumbIn the provinces few entertainments were looked forward to with such eagerness as the circus. The excitement began directly the bright Strobridge lithos were posted announcing the newest and ‘greatest show on earth’. In 1883 Buffalo Bill joined the competition with his Wild West spectacles. Road companies offered variety or vaudeville shows, burlesque, comedy, or the all-out farce, like Brandon Thomas‘s ever popular ‘Charley’s Aunt. The full-blooded melodrama could also, pack the house; the success of one of these hero-heroine-villain shows usually being judged backstage not so much by the bravos and whistles the hero and the heroine received as by the loudness of the hisses, boos, and catcalls aimed at the villain.

A night out in the big city might mean seeing a play with Henry Irving or Ellen Terry in the lead, Ada Rehan, the Duse, or the ‘divine Sarah’. Music lovers might go to hear Bizet, Gounod, Verdi, Wagner, or perhaps a rollicking Gilbert and Sullivan at D’Oyly Carte’s new Savoy. Queen Victoria, an avid theatre-goer, loved to flit from play to play, sampling bits of several hits in a Single evening.


1880_1900_ill_006_thumb1_thumbFront-page news revolved about the Millais-Pears affair. In 1886 Sir William Ingram bought John Everett Millais’ portrait of his young grandson, William James later to become a stern and bearded admiral-blowing bubbles with the object of reproducing the painting in his Illustrated London News. Sir William then sold the painting to Thomas Barratt, the manager of Pears, who saw what a wonderful poster it would make with a cake of soap added at the bottom. To the academic world this was a sacrilege, but the public so loved ‘Bubbles’ that the poster made advertising history as the sales of soap soared. John Guille Millais wrote perceptively in the biography of his father: “We ought to be grateful to Pears for their spirited departure from the track of advertisers. The example that they set has tended to raise the character of our illustrated advertisements, whether in papers or posters, and may possibly lead to the final extinction of such atrocious vulgarities as now offend the eye at every turn.” Pears was the first English company to realize the immense possibilities of prestige advertising; but Paris had been flowering her city walls with lithographic masterpieces for years.

As opposed to the man’s world of London, Paris was the centre of feminine fashions, indeed of femininity itself. Parisian night life of the belle époque was epitomized by the most famous of all nightclubs, the Moulin Rouge, and by the Folies-Bergere, both of which put on the gayest and naughtiest of revues with the greatest style. In keeping with the effervescent spirit of Paris were Jules Cheret’s sparkling posters of pretty girls, ‘Cherettes’ they were called, smiling, skating, dancing, or otherwise engaged (pages 18-19). A contemporary critic, Karl Huysman, wrote in 1880 that in his opinion there was “a thousand times more talent in the smallest of Cheret’s posters than in the majority of pictures on the walls of the Paris Salon.” This was as much a comment on the Salon as on Cheret, and must have pleased the impressionists, led by Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, and Manet, who themselves had so long been ignored by the Salon.


Two of Jules Cheret’s sparkling posters

 In Paris the response to Cheret influenced advertisers to engage other ‘serious’ artists to design posters, among them Alphonse Mucha, recently arrived from Austria, Swissborn Theophile Alexandre Steinlen, Pierre Bonnard, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Lautrec’s posters, the last designed in 1891, were not nearly so popular as Cheret’s. The earthier models, flat surfaces, strong outlines, and shadowless techniques of his lithographs-much influenced by Japanese prints and now so valued-were not pretty enough then for the public’s taste.


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Theophile Alexandre Steinlen

Aubrey Beardsley

The golden age of the poster reached its height about 1895. At that time England’s distinguished designers included the Beggarstaffs, as the brothers-in-law James Pryde and William Nicholson were called, Dudley Hardy, Maurice Grieffenhagen, and Aubrey Beardsley, the twenty-two-year-old genius discovered by The Studio and featured in the magazine’s first issue in 1893

The year 1893 was also that of Chicago’s Columbian Exposition, and the year too that Anton Dvorak composed his From the New World symphony. Posters had become the rage in America, and the enterprise of new magazines like Century, Harper’s, Lippincott, and The Chap-Book encouraged the talents of Will Bradley and Maxfield Parrish, both influenced by Beardsley.

Gallery showing ads 1880 – 1900 


Text from “The Art of ADVERTISING” by Bryan Holme

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Two old postcards from Christiania (now called Oslo), both showing the main street, Carl Johan’s gate. The one at the top is from 1910 and the one at the bottom fro 1909.

From my collection of old postcards – Ted

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Text: Happiness Check, The happiness bank will against this check pay out to (who ever the card was sent to) three hundred and sixty five happy days, signed (the sender).

Print it out dear visitor and write your name on the dotted line – Ted

From my collection of old postcards – Ted

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A spintria (plural, spintriae ) is a small bronze or brass Roman token, possibly for use in brothels, usually depicting sexual acts or symbols.


Some scholars have argued that spintriae were used to pay prostitutes. According to Suetonius, carrying a ring or a coin bearing the emperor’s image into a latrine or brothel could be the basis for an accusation of treason (maiestas) under Tiberius. Under Caracalla, an equestrian was sentenced to death for bringing a coin with the emperor’s likeness into a brothel; he was spared only by the emperor’s own death. There is no direct ancient evidence, however, to support the theory that spintriae were created as tokens for exchange in place of official coinage.


They may have been gaming tokens. They seem to have been produced for only a short period, mostly in the 1st century AD.


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Lucian Bernhard (March 15, 1883–May 29, 1972) was a German graphic designer, type designer, professor, interior designer, and artist during the first half of the twentieth century. He was born in Stuttgart, Germany, on March 15, 1883, as Emil Kahn to a Jewish family, but changed in 1905 to his more commonly known pseudonym. His first name is often spelled Lucien.

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He was influential in helping create the design style known as Plakatstil (Poster Style), which used reductive imagery and flat-color as well as Sachplakat (‘object poster’) which restricted the image to simply the object being advertised and the brand name. He was also known for his designs for Stiller shoes, Manoli cigarettes, and Priester matches.

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Though he studied briefly at the Akademie in Munich, he was largely self-taught. He moved to Berlin in 1901 where he worked as a poster designer and art director for magazines. In 1920 he became a professor at the Akademie der Künste until 1923, when he emigrated to New York City. In 1928 he opened the Contempora Studio with Rockwell Kent, Paul Poiret, Bruno Paul, and Erich Mendelsohn where he worked as a graphic artist and interior designer. After 1930 he worked primarily as a painter and sculptor until his death on May 29, 1972.

Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The A. Batschari tobacco company was located in Baden-Baden, Germany. Successful 19th Century sales to the French and Russian tourists visiting this resort area, resulted in a large factory complex being built in 1908. Both cigarettes and cigars were made by approximately 800 employees, most of whom were women. There were many German cigarette manufacturers who had their factories in Dresden, but as far as I know, August Batschari had Baden-Baden to himself. Mercedes Cigarettes was Batschari’s most popular brand, but Cyprienne, Fürst Fürstenberg, Nymphe, Sleipner, and Tufuma were made by him too.

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This large family owned tobacco company was responsible for the beautiful circa 1900 advertising pictured below. During the 1930’s Batschari gave away several sets of insert cards featuring popular moving picture actors. The bulk of these handsome cards pictured German actors and actresses, but several Americans, including cowboy Tom Mix and comedian Buster Keaton, also had cards. In 1930 a branch of the A. Batschari tobacco company was located in New York City at Madison Ave. and 46th Street.


Collectors card featuring The stars of the Metro Goldwin Mayer" from German cigarette factory A. Batschari Baden-Baden 1933

Text from “Jim’s Burnt Offerings

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