Blog: January 2010

Vintage Castrol Tins

Remember this post about a vintage oil can Flickr group? Well since then I've been on a look out for some of my own - so far I've found these little beauties. I love the old scripted Castrol logo on the middle and right tins.

According to Castrol this logo was introduced in 1946 and used until 1958 when the one on the left tin replaced it. Here's the Castrol logo evolution, I think it's a shame they didn't stick with the 50's/60's branding as it has much more impact than the ultra-modern (yet already dated looking) ones in use since 2001.

1917 and 1929

1946 and 1958

1968 and the 100 year celebration logo in 1999

2001 and 2006

Check out more vintage oil loveliness here, here and here.

All logo images copyright Castrol.

Helvetica Cookie Cutters!

Loving these Helvetica cookie cutters designed and created by Beverly Hsu last year. Rumour has it that she's trying to put them into production so we can all have lovely Helvetica cookies to munch on!

Images copyright Beverly Hsu.
Via NotCot.

Tue 26 Jan 2010

Posted under: Design , Typography , Delicious things


Vintage VW Bus Signage

These old VW buses are taken from the pages of an old dealer brochure over on Cartype. They have some great colour combos and some even greater signwriting - encompassing 2 of my favourite things, hand-painted signage and old Volkswagens!

Big thanks to Ryan at Sell! Sell! for the link, we love it.

Images are originally from the great VW split bus site, Vintage Bus.

Tue 19 Jan 2010

Posted under: Typography , Delicious things


From the reference box #64

#64 - Banking Money bags/pockets for Barclays Bank Ltd., Lloyds Bank Ltd. and Midland Bank Ltd. (now HSBC). I picked these up at the weekend from a local flea market. They came in a bundle with a few of each one, most of which are unused.

I think they're from the early 70's as here in the UK we went decimal in 1971, losing the pound, shilling and pence in favour of just pounds and pence with an 18 month change-over period. This bundle of bags includes both decimal and pre-decimal nominations so I'm guessing they are from this change-over period.

The little 25p one at the bottom is my favourite, partly becasue of the big, thick black number 25 and partly because I miss 1/2 pence pieces!

Check out more wonderful items in the reference box here.

Mon 18 Jan 2010

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box


Educational Stamps - Israel 1972

I found these gorgeous Israeli stamps on a great blog, Words and Eggs. They were issued in 1972 to celebrate the countries rise in educational standards and illustrate stages of education (above - top to bottom):

Elementary school - "The beginning of wisdom is this: get wisdom..." (Proverbs 4:7)
Secondary school - "Train upon a child in the way he should go..." (Proverbs 22:6)
Vocational training - "... but all study of the law without labor comes to naught at the last..." (Pirkei Aboth 2)
Academic training - "...but you shall meditate on it day and night..." (Joshua 1:8)

Big thanks to Kickcan & Conkers for pointing us to this great blog.

Images copyright The Israel Philatelic Federation (IPF).

Wed 13 Jan 2010

Posted under: Design , Typography , Ephemera


Fernand Fonssagrives Exhibition

Studio couch, 1956 (light and shadow) © Fernand Fonssagrives
Silver gelatin print

I can't wait to see Fernand Fonssagrives at the Michael Hoppen Gallery. Fonssagrives was an iconic fashion photographer whose images have graced the pages of fashion magazines throughout the world.

His first wife and muse, ballerina turned model (and some say, the first super model) Lisa Fonssagrives, "helped to define the natural, effortless beauty that has become the mainstay of fashion photography as we now know it". His photos of Lisa embraced the mood of the 30's and 40's - the strikingly graphic silhouettes with a clean modernist feel and the dynamic, poses of her leaping through the air capturing the care-free attitude.

Taxi Cab New York 1945 © Estate of Fernand Fonssagrives courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery
Silver gelatin print

The Coat Hanger c.1940 © Estate of Fernand Fonssagrives courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery
Silver gelatin print

Elan 1935 © Estate of Fernand Fonssagrives courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery
Silver gelatin print

Fonssagrives died in 2003. Despite at one time being the highest paid photographer in the world and being a key figure in the New York School of avant-garde photography his work remained quite anonymous and rarely seen.

However from the 14 January to 6 March his wonderful images will be on show at the Michael Hoppen Gallery, London. I for one can't wait!

Tue 12 Jan 2010

Posted under: Photography , Exhibition



Letterheady is a great website run by Shaun Usher showcasing interesting letterhead designs, mainly it seems from famous people, offices and corporations. Shaun describes it as, "an online homage to offline correspondence; specifically letters. However, here at Letterheady we don't care about the letter's content. Just its design." What a wonderful resource for ephemera geeks and designers.

There's a good range too- some of the designs are simple and to the point whilst others like the Barnum's one (above) are fantastically elaborate. Here are my favourites:

Images copyright Letterheady.
Via our friends at Sell! Sell!

Mon 11 Jan 2010

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Delicious things


A Collection a Day, 2010

Artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon has started A Collection a Day 2010, a blog showcasing random objects from her personal or imagined collections. Lisa is going to post a collection everyday for exactly one year - quite a task!

"Since I was a young girl, I have been obsessed both with collecting and with arranging, organizing and displaying my collections. This is my attempt to document my collections, both the real and the imagined".

It's a great idea for a blog - I love collections. There are already some interesting items up there, so hopefully it will become a good source of inspiration on a daily basis.

Images copyright A Collection a Day, 2010.
Via the wonderful Kickcan and Conkers.

Thu 07 Jan 2010

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Inspiration

1 Comment

Hobo Symbology

I love these hobo symbols, they form such a basic signage system, simple and effective. It was developed by hobos in the 1950's who communicated with each other by drawing these images on the street in chalk.

You may remember a reference to them in Mad Men when a Hobo drew the 'Dishonest Man' symbol on the gate of the young Don Draper's house in a flashback scene.

The whole set can be seen over on World Famous Design Junkies.

Images copyright World Famous Design Junkies.
Via Notcot.

Wed 06 Jan 2010

Posted under: Design , Inspiration , signage


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year - thanks for helping us have a great 2009 and here's to a cracking 2010.

Mon 04 Jan 2010

Posted under: Uncategorized



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