Designer Desire: Daphne Padden

Mosaic of vintage Daphne Padden designs

This week, we’re featuring the wonderful graphic designs of Daphne Padden (1925-2010) in our Designer Desire series.

‘Mr & Mrs Crownfolio’ have been writing about Daphne on their Vintage Poster Blog for almost 2 decades and it’s thanks in the main to them that something is actually known of her. The vast majority of the images in our mosaic have been borrowed from them. She’s highly underrated in their, and our, opinion!

Portrait of Daphne Padden painted by her father, Percy Padden
Portrait of Daphne Padden painted by her father, Percy Padden

She has produced work for the likes of The Post Office Savings Bank, P & O, British Railways, BEA, ROSPA and Unilever.

Her designs can be found on travel posters, food packaging and restaurant menus. We’re surprised that she never illustrated children’s books, her style is perfectly suited for that medium.

We’re lucky enough to have this single item of hers in our possession – a bright & bold poster produced for The Post Office Savings Bank advertising their investment accounts.

Vintage Daphne Padden poster for the Post Office Savings Bank | H is for Home

An archive of her work is held at my alma mater, The University of Brighton although, to date, none of it seems to have been uploaded to their website. Others can be found in the archives of some of the companies she worked for including The Postal Museum and The Marks and Spencer Company Archive.

You can often find a handful of Daphne Padden’s vintage works on eBay. If you get out-bid, quite a few places are currently reproducing some of her designs including Beast in Show, To Dry For, All Posters and Art.com.

If you have any information or examples of her work, please share – we’d love to hear from you.

Image credits

Vintage Poster Blog | Christies

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

Vintage Pat Keely safety poster

Vintage 'Keep Floors Clean' safety poster designed by Pat Keely for Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents | H is for Home

We featured a poster by Leonard Cusden in a recent post – and, as with the proverbial buses, two safety posters have come at once. Well, the same week anyway.

Vintage 'Keep Floors Clean' safety poster designed by Pat Keely for Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents | H is for Home

This one is by another renowned 20th century graphic artist – Pat Keely.

Pat Keely signature

This ‘Keep Floors Clean’ poster was commissioned by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in the 1950s.

Vintage 'Keep Floors Clean' safety poster designed by Pat Keely for Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents | H is for Home

In addition to his work for RoSPA, Pat Keely was also responsible for some iconic World War II posters done for The Ministry of Information. There are public transport and GPO commissions too – he even designed postage stamps.

Vintage 'Keep Floors Clean' safety poster designed by Pat Keely for Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents | H is for Home

Here are some further images of Pat Cokayne Keely’s work. We love the orange ‘Wear your Goggles’ poster you’ll see there.

Detail of credits from a vintage 'Keep Floors Clean' safety poster designed by Pat Keely for Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents | H is for Home

As with the Leonard Cusden, this is an original vintage piece. We’re pretty sure that this particular poster image has never been reproduced so quite a scarce thing. It’s one for the graphic artist aficionados on one level, but also works simply as a decorative art work for the home. It would look great displayed on a kitchen wall – the imagery, colours and subject matter. There’s first refusal to our blog readers, so let us know if you’re interested.

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Leonard Cusden collectable

Detail from a vintage Leonard Cusden designed safety poster 'Don't fool with compressed air it can kill' | H is for Home

We love graphic design – and collect vintage examples from the mid twentieth century in particular.

Vintage Leonard Cusden designed safety poster 'Don't fool with compressed air it can kill' | H is for Home

…posters, menus, books and magazines are all potential sources.

Detail from a vintage Leonard Cusden designed safety poster 'Don't fool with compressed air it can kill' | H is for Home

We’ve just acquired this fabulous vintage poster by renowned graphic artist, Leonard Cusden. It dates from the 1950s and was commissioned by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. It warns of the dangers of working with compressed air. He’s also famous for his distinctive 1930s railway posters.

Leonard Cusden signature

It’s very striking in terms of design & colours – we love the ghoulish spectre!

Detail from a vintage Leonard Cusden designed safety poster 'Don't fool with compressed air it can kill' | H is for Home

Quite a few of his health & safety posters have now been re-produced by RoSPA. We were very chuffed with this find, especially as it’s an original copy from the period.

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.

Habitat kitchen cards

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Vintage uncut Habitat kitchen cards | H is for Home

We bought a batch of 1960s & 70s posters at auction recently. Amongst them was this little gem – well, big gem really! 🙂

kitchen cards by Juliet Glynn Smith

It’s a whole set of vintage kitchen cards designed by Juliet Glynn Smith for Habitat. She illustrated their very first catalogue in 1966.

Rear of vintage uncut kitchen cards

They were produced on a big sheet, but as you can see from the back, it looks like they were intended to be cut with a guillotine… then used as individual cards. We wonder how many survive as postcards – and how many still exist as one big sheet. We can’t find any other examples online at all, so we guess not many. Well worth sharing with our readers we thought!

'Feeding swine' vintage Habitat kitchen card 'Hawking' vintage Habitat kitchen card

'Bow and arrow' vintage Habitat kitchen card 'Gathering herbs' vintage Habitat kitchen card

The colours & illustrations are absolutely stunning – part medieval, part 1960s!

Vintage uncut Habitat kitchen cards

The full sheet measures 90cm x 60cm so makes an impressive display… here it is in all its glory!