Blog: Ephemera

From the reference box #145

#145 - more beautiful Parisian vintage ephemera.

I love the quality of this little card. It's quite a thick, textured stock which, gives the print a lovely texture too and as you can see it is very agedaround the edges but that just adds to it's charm.

With my bad French and the help of Google translate, I think it's some sort of sponsored competitor's card which reads, 'Because liquorice gives muscles. Rider No.9. Chambrelent, Paris', but i could be very, very wrong!

Have a look at some of out other ephemera gems here.

Wed 15 Oct 2014

Posted under: Design , Typography , Ephemera , lettering

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From the reference box #144

#144 - Shell promotional card, circa 1950s. Another gem from Paris.

It's advertising Shell's portfolio of products; so as well as the obvious petrol and oil, they supplied fuel oil, chemicals, insecticides and bitumen (asphalt).

I love everything about this little card; the colours, the pulpy uncoated stock that the ink has sunk into, the illustrations, the way the shading has been illustrated and the way they left the 'S' of Shell under the black layer of print to make it slightly darker too. The type and illustrations remind me of the instructional and educational charts from the same era. Shame I don't know who the illustrator/designer was.

Have a dig around in our reference box for more delicious ephemera...

From the reference box #143

#143 - French Button display cards, circa 1940/1950. These lovely vintage button cards are from the Brighton street market and only £1 per card!

The lettering is fantastic and I bought them for that alone - I love the scripty 'Nouveauté' on the white card (third from top), it has such a Parisian feel as does the 'Haute Nouveauté' on the blue card (top) with it's ascending A's and quirky E's.

I feel another collection starting!

From the reference box #142

#142 - Vintage Boulangerie Patisserie receipt, "Pains de Régime - Specialité de Croissants, Graines & Farines".

A new addition to the reference box - this is the first of my Paris ephemera haul from the Marché aux Puces (flea markets).

It's a letter-pressed receipt probably from around the early 1900s. If only receipts were this elaborate today, shopping would be much more fun!

Vintage Christmas Wrap

I know you're probably sick of the sight of gift wrap at the minute, but this collection of vintage Christmas wrap from the deepest depths of Flickr is so gorgeous, I'm sure it will restore your festive cheer. 

Thu 19 Dec 2013

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Inspiration

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From the reference box #141

#141 - Smiths Bluecol playing card, circa 1950.

Not sure why an anti-freeze company would produce playing cards, but I'm glad they did. The sleet and snow illustrations are beautiful - the snowflakes are so fine and delicate.

Check out the other 140 pieces of ephemera stashed away in our reference box here.

From the reference box #140

#140 - A rather gorgeous 1960s Bosch spark plug brochure - 'Bosch takes you from start to finish'.

This 16pp brochure highlights the advantages of Bosch spark plugs and backs it up with examples of motorsport success from Grand Prix winning vehicles to land speed records.

There are some amazing illustrations throughout, but some very questionable typesetting with an abundance of hyphens.

I love finding little notes on ephemera that tell you something extra about the item and this brochure has a whole host of figures and calculations on the back cover which seem to refer to a vehicles mileage & maintenance - length (in time) of journeys taken, mileage covered, dates and quantities of oil added and mileage at service points. It was clearly kept either in the car or close by used as a constant reference. Wish I knew what car it related to.

There's loads more ephemera and vintage packaging tucked away in our reference box, have a look and see what you can find.

Tue 03 Sep 2013

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box

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From the reference box #139

# 139 - Some new additions to the reference box, and to my Carte-de-Visite collection. Cards from four different photographic studios / photographers in the South of England, all beautifully lettered and detailed.

Quite a few of the cards in my collection have 'Marion Imp Paris' or 'Marion & Co Registered' which I assumed to be the printer of the cards, and I was correct. I found this great website all about Carte-de- Visite with a whole section about Marion & Co and how to use their marks to date the cards (and photographs). Check it out here.

See our whole collection here and previous posts about Carte-de-Visite here, here and here. You can find out more about Carte-de-Visite here, an article written by Graham Hudson from the Ephemera Society.

Vintage Cigar Labels

These beautifully detailed and lettered cigar labels are from a collection over on Letterology. It's an interesting post showing the elaborate designs introduced to establish more sophisticated looking brand styles and prevent counterfeits being easily produced. Check out the full post here.

Images copyright Letterology.

Sun 04 Aug 2013

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , lettering , Packaging

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From the Reference Box #138

#138 - British United Airways passenger ticket and baggage check, 1963. I love to see a classic logo on an original bit of print so I couldn't leave this behind at the boot sale.

This lucky person, a Miss MV Dickinson travelled from London Gatwick to Venice on what was then the UK's largest independent airline, largely owned by British & Commonwealth Shipping (B&C) and the largest unsubsidised airline outside the US.

Have a delve into the rest of our reference box for more ephemera and vintage design goodies.

Wed 03 Jul 2013

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box

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The Lancashire Coast

I was thrilled to see this Daphne Padden poster on Quad Royal this morning. I'm a Lancashire lass and know the Lancashire coast has some wonderful seaside towns; St Annes with it's Victorian grandeur, Fleetwood steeped in fishing history and my favourite, Blackpool with it's mixture of faded glory and tacky arcades.

As much as I love these towns though, I never remember any of them looking as lovely as Daphne illustrates them!

Image from Quad Royal.

Thu 06 Jun 2013

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Illustration , Posters

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From the reference box #137

#137 - Matchbooks & matchbook covers. This little lot were in a collection of souvenir match books I was given recently. The majority of the covers are uninspiring design-wise, but there's something about the ones above, be it their tacky charm or giant graphics that jumped out at me - especially the flame graphic!

We have many more matchbook covers in the reference box and on our blog, take a look here.

From the reference box #135


#135 - The County of London Plan, published by Penguin Books in 1945. This lovely little booklet is packed full of beautifully graphic maps (which I'll do a separate post about) showing the County of London and the surrounding London areas.

It covers current and proposed land use residential and commercial (this was immediately after the war and much of the city needed re-development), looks at traffic & public transport solutions, population density problems and shows plans for the Thames riverside re-development. All of which are illustrated with these wonderful infographics...







The booklet credits the British Council for use of the illustrations, so I'm afraid the artist is unknown.

For more delightful ephemera have a dig around the rest of our reference box here.

Fri 22 Feb 2013

Posted under: Ephemera , Reference box

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From the reference box #134


#134 - Russian (?) Concert/Circus Programme, 1971. I love the illustrations on this cover with the lovely contrast between the intricate black lettering and the simple colourful figures, but I have no idea what any of this says!

I think it's Russian and it is definitely a programme of events for a show of some kind, I'm guessing a circus or music concert purely from the illustrations so please correct me if I'm way off!

Thu 17 Jan 2013

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box

2 Comments

From the reference box #133

Right, we're back in the zone, our poor blog has been the victim of our super busy December!

#133 - Monotype Newsletter 90, November 1971. I completely forgot buying a few 70's copies of the Monotype Newsletter last Summer, so it was a pleasant surprise to find them hidden away in the reference box.

Here's No. 90, the first of the new format newsletters which includes a selection of pangrams on the inside covers, a list of London Monotype machine typesetters, an article on Michelin Guides, some metric conversions and a little history of Times Condensed...








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