Designer Desire: Mary Blair

Mosaic of Mary Blair artworks | H is for Home

If you were a child of the 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond, the illustrations of Mary Blair will be really familiar to you. She was responsible for the concept artwork on many Walt Disney films. Bambi? Cinderella? Alice in Wonderland? Peter Pan? That was her!

She designed a breathtaking, multi-storey mural inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort which opened in 1971 (see the top right image in our collage and the film of its making at the bottom of this post). It’s 90′ tall and consists of 18 thousand hand-painted tiles!

The styling and colouring of the original it’s a small world installation is also her work. It began life as part of the 1964 New York World’s Fair’s UNICEF pavilion thereafter moving to Florida’s Walt Disney World. It has since been followed by later versions in Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland.

She was one of the main illustrators on the Little Golden Books series of children’s books (Another Disney project). Her output can be found in I Can Fly, Little Verses and Baby’s House.

Mary Blair also designed advertising and, on occasion, packaging for Meadow Gold milk, cheese and ice cream, Blue Bell children’s clothing, E-Z underwear, Hanes Underwear, Pall Mall cigarettes, Dutch Boy Paints and Baker’s instant chocolate flavor mix.

You can find numerous books illustrated by Blair, as well as books about her and her work on Amazon.

Check out some of our other past Designer Desire members here!

Mary Blair and Walt Disney

Image credits:

Flickr | Pinterest


Ceramic Mural from Animation Scoop on Vimeo.

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

Vintage hosiery ads

Three vintage hosiery ads | H is for Home

Boxes and drawers full of old paper ephemera come into the antiques centre quite often. It’s well worth spending 10 minutes to have a sift and sort through. Amongst the old newspapers, shopping lists and receipts lie some little hidden gems.

Vintage Sponsor Hosiery ad | H is for Home

We keep an eye out for vintage advertisements, menus, recipe booklets and so on. In particular, those originating from the mid twentieth century which have eye-catching designs or artwork.

Vintage Hudson hosiery ad | H is for Home

This week, we found three lovely vintage hosiery ads in a pile.

Vintage Burlington Support Stockings ad | H is for Home

They date from the 1950s and promote Hudson, Sponsor and Burlington brands.

Detail from a vintage Hudson hosiery ad | H is for Home

The lady’s legs forming the letter ‘H’ of Hudson is a particular favourite for graphic design – and we also love the sky blue colour and era-defining ‘New Look’ fashion of the Sponsor advertisement. They’ll look lovely framed and displayed near a wardrobe or in a dressing room.

Valentine enamel sign

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Vintage enamel sign, 'Valentine la belle peinture'

This is our favourite item of the week.

Vintage Valentine enamel sign

We don’t think we’ve nominated an enamel sign previously.

Detail of vintage Valentine enamel sign

It’s a vintage French sign advertising Valentine paints. We like the colours and absolutely love the graphic design.

Vintage Valentine enamel sign in our sitting room with other vintage industrial homewares

We put it in a vintage industrial corner of the lounge to photograph it – oh no, it looks quite good!

Schweppes Christmas

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vintage Schweppes Christmas advertising board

We’ve been digging out our vintage Christmas decorations this week – items that we’ve collected over the past few months & years. They add a vintage touch to the shop-bought baubles, home-made crafty bits and holly we’ve picked on recent walks.

vintage Schweppes Christmas advertising board

This one is a Schweppes advertising sign. You’d never guess – it’s only mentioned a hundred times!

vintage Schweppes Christmas advertising board

It was designed by Herbert Leupin in the 1950s/60s – and takes the form of a Christmas tree incorporating all the various Schweppes labels from the period. We’ll really enjoy having it on display for a couple of weeks.

Forthcoming Attractions: Mid August 2013

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selection of vintage homewares at H is for Home including white goose neck desk lamp, US Advertising sign for Alox shoelaces, trio of 1950s counting & alphabet picture books, orange electric food processor, potato masher and chocolate biscuit tin

We’ve picked up a varied selection of interesting, vintage bits & bobs at this week’s Thursday flea market. They’ll be going into our shop very soon.

vintage US cardboard advertising sign for Alox shoelaces

You probably couldn’t help but notice the HUGE shoe in the background of the group shot – it’s a vintage American advertising sign for Alox shoelaces.

orange & white vintage electric food grinder

Orange kitchen appliances and vintage utensils are always sure-fire winners so we always pick them up when we come across them.

trio of vintage 1950s nursery rhymes, ABC and counting picture books

These vintage 1950s children’s reading & counting books are in such excellent condition. Apparently the original owner was an ex-nursery school teacher who made sure her charges took great care with them!

illustration from vintage 1950s children's alphabet book showing "H is for hot cross buns"

We’ve always been adamant that H is for ‘Home’ – but apparently not. H is for ‘Hot Cross Buns’ and don’t they look delicious ones?

white vintage goose neck desk lamp

Vintage desk lamps are also a hit with our customers. We’ve had this particular design of lamp many times over the years – great shape & very functional. Perfect for the home office or bedside table.

vintage Christmas chocolate biscuit tin

Our favourite item this week is probably this vintage chocolate biscuit tin. The Christmas-y illustration is delightful and it’s in tremendous condition.