Designer Desire: Hervé Morvan

Mosaic of Hervé Morvan designs | H is for Home

One of the most well-known Hervé Morvan (1917-1980) works is probably the design he produced in 1956 for Banania – a French chocolate drink company.

He designed posters and other advertising materials for lots of other well known brands including Air France, Perrier, Evian, Gitanes and Bally.

Between the 1930s and 1950s, he designed over 150 film posters and also illustrated a number of LP covers and the Printemps du Monde series of children’s books by Jean des Vallières.

His original posters fetch good prices and can sometimes be found on eBay or specialist outlets such as Vintage Posters

There’s a book of around 280 of his works which is available on Amazon.

Portrait of Hervé Morvancredit

Image credits: Invaluable

Designer Desire: Erik Bruun

Mosaic of Erik Bruun designs | H is for Home

Erik Bruun is a Finnish graphic designer probably best known outside of Finland for his Hartwall Jaffa orange drink ads and Finnair travel posters.

However, it is other designs altogether for which he is most famous in his home country. In 1986, he produced the designs for the current Finnish Markka banknotes. He also designed a 2011 Sampo Bank payment card in collaboration with the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation.

He went to the Central School of Industrial Design in Helsinki where some of his tutors included Kaj Franck and Tapio Wirkkala.

In an interview with Mr Wolf Magazine, he said he was given advice by the latter:

One should be passionate and inspired when starting a job. If you are not, then don’t start. Without passion, nothing exceptional is born.

You can purchase reprints of many of his vintage designs on his website.

Portrait of Erik Bruun

Here he is in a short film, putting the finishing touches on one of his Jaffa artworks…

Image credits:

Flickr | Pinterest

Designer Desire: Celestino Piatti

Mosaic of Celestino Piatti designs | H is for Home

We’ve long had a soft spot for the illustrations of Celestino Piatti (1922-2007). He was a Swiss designer best known for his children’s book illustrations and poster and postage stamp designs.

For years, we’ve been hoping to happen across a pristine 1st edition 1965 copy of his Animal ABC in a charity shop somewhere. It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon – thankfully, you can get new copies online.

Celestino Piatti

Much of his work has distinctive thick, rough, black outlines with bright ‘colouring in’ – almost child-like but incredibly beautiful. He had a few motifs which he kept returning to again & again; owls, the sun with a face and cockerels.

Additional image credits

Artnet | Invaluable | Pinterest | Poster Gallery

Designer Desire: Lefor Openo

Lefor Openo artwork mosaic | H is for Home

Welcome to our new blog series, ‘Designer Desire’, where we’ll feature one designer per week whose work we love. We’re kicking off with Lefor Openo who we’ve mentioned once or twice before.

Lefor Openo comprised of two French women, Marie-Claire Lefort and Marie-Francine Oppeneau. They met while studying at Lycée Claude-Bernard Paris, and collaborated from 1955 to 1967. They were primarily poster artists; their designs were used extensively by Loterie Nationale (the national lottery of France). They designed posters for Charles de Gaulle – for the 1958 constitutional referendum and again for his 1965 presidential election campaign. They also produced advertising artwork for other organisations and brands such as Electricité de France, Kodak, Singer Sewing Machines. They designed a poster for the 1959 film Babette s’en va-t-en guerre, (Babette goes to War) starring Brigitte Bardot. Apparently, she is the one upon whom they based most of their ‘models’.

As well as posters, very occasionally you’ll come across postcards and tea towels bearing their designs on Etsy and eBay. We’ve also seen evidence of a doll and a couple of pin dishes from the era and we have a tin in our shop which we believe to be one of their designs – we’ve never seen another!

Marie-Claire Lefort died in 1971 and Marie-Francine Oppeneau is now 81 years old. Once upon a time, there was a basic website with information and images of some of their designs but it seems to have been allowed to expire. If you know (or want to find out) anything more about them and their designs, please leave a comment below.

Marie-Claire Lefort & Marie-Francine Oppeneau of Lefor Openo

Danish Fortnight at Neiman-Marcus

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Vintage Neiman-Marcus Danish Fortnight poster detail

We thought that we’d take a closer look at the vintage Neiman-Marcus poster that we showed in yesterday’s Forthcoming Attractions post. As we mentioned, we’ve had this poster in storage for some time and have just had it framed. It looks fantastic!

Vintage Neiman-Marcus Danish Fortnight poster

It’s the work of Danish artist, Ib Antoni. He designed textiles, porcelain and lamps too, but it’s his posters for which he’s most famous. He was much in demand during his relatively short career. His list of clients is tremendous –  from tourist boards to large manufacturing companies. Tragically he died quite young in a hotel fire aged just 44. He’s much loved in Denmark and indeed worldwide. He left a wonderful body of work with over 300 poster designs and is one of our favourite illustrators.

Ib Antoni's signature

The US department store Neiman-Marcus developed the concept of special fortnights to promote sales in the quiet autumn period before the Christmas rush. They started in 1957 with French Fortnight. It celebrated the distinctive culture, cuisine and fashion of that particular nation. They were a great success and continued up until the 1980s. Danish Fortnight took place in Dallas in 1964.

Vintage Neiman-Marcus Danish Fortnight poster detail

This extract comes from a local newspaper at the time:

Dallas’ Neiman-Marcus will open its Danish Fortnight tomorrow with royal Danes and Great Danes in attendance. And if it’s anything like the fairyland Swiss Fortnight of last year, start wishing that your husbands will find some business in Dallas during the two-week event. The specialty store promises to bring the greatness of Denmark to visitors, dramatizing the Tivoli Gardens with its imaginative play settings for children, the works of Hans Christian Andersen, George Jensen silver and the finest art of the country–its contemporary furniture and needlework. Dallas will join Neiman-Marcus in the exposition with a Danish Street fair sponsored by antique shops, Danish films and Danish entertainers in Dallas supper clubs.Northwest Arkansas Times, Saturday October 17 1964

There would no doubt have been some wonderful mid-century modern homewares on offer!

Vintage Neiman-Marcus Danish Fortnight poster detail

Amazingly, we acquired more than one copy of this rare vintage poster at the time we bought them. So , we could send one rolled up in a tube – you could then choose your own frame and indeed framer – and it will obviously be much cheaper & safer than sending the glazed version. This original poster measures 88cm x 61.5cm. Our blog readers will get first refusal, so get in touch if your interested.

Tuesday Huesday: Tom Eckersley

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Museum of London poster depicting a woman with basket of oranges. Designed by Tom Eckersley in 1977© Transport for London

Tom Eckersley (1914-1997) was a Lancashire-born poster artist. His bold, graphic approach lent itself to the kind of work commissioned by big corporations such as Transport for London, National Savings Bank, Guinness and Gillette. His style transmitted messages that needed to be attention grabbing, immediate, memorable, informative and often quirky.

For a look at lots more of his work, visit the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) and Rennart websites.