Typographic Posters

A directory of typographic posters. Good idea and some classic poster design.

The wonders of modern medicine

Modern Medicine

An Israeli doctor said, 'Medicine in my country is so advanced, we can
take a kidney out of one person, put it in another, and have him
looking for work in six weeks.'

A German doctor said, 'That's nothing! In Germany, we can take a lung
out of one person, put it in another, and have him looking for work in
four weeks.'

A Russian doctor said, 'In my country medicine is so advanced, we can
take half a heart from one person, put it in another, and have them
both looking for work in two weeks.'

The English doctor, not to be outdone, said 'Hah!. We can take an
arsehole out of Scotland, put him in 10 Downing Street and have half
the country looking for work within twenty-four hours.

What Do You Call...?

What do you call a man in a paper bag?

What do you call a man with a seagull on his head?

What do call a man with a car on his head?

What do you call a blind dinosaur?

What do you call a man with a spade in his head?

What do you call a man without a spade in his head?

What do you call a fish without any eyes?

What do you call a man with no arms and legs in a swimming pool?

What do call a woman juggling bottles of lager?

What do you call a really small woman?


Advertising in an 'Economic Downturn' and what can be learned from it

Is someone wasting your advertising budget?

As regular readers of the Sell! Sell! blog will know, we've heard there might be a recession, but decided not to participate.

But the ad-blogs and the trades are buzzing with recession-talk, asking how to deal with one from an advertising point of view, and wondering what we can expect. We can't escape the chatter.

These articles always turn up the same buzz-phrases and advice. One particular is that to be successful, client companies should advertise their way-through a recession. Well that's easy advice to give when it's not your money.

What a lot of people who are in the advertising business forget is that marketing departments are under a lot of pressure within client companies. Even before this current downturn, margins have been increasingly squeezed, and there has been increased pressure to make savings on all costs.

Few companies are run at a senior level by people from a marketing background these days, and marketing - and the costs of marketing - are viewed with some scepticism. It's quite understandable really - advertising is expensive, and advertising specialists are expensive. And it's very hard to pin down the exact contribution that advertising makes to the bottom line. Sure, people try with research and testing, but advertising research is not scientific and is often very misleading.

No, what clients need from agencies at this time is not glib 'advice'. They need their agencies to use every penny of their budget extremely wisely. To treat it as if it were their own money.

Agencies need to take a step back and look at the advertising they are creating and ask 'Is this really doing the job it's supposed to do? Is it doing it well? Would I be happy to put my own money into this? Is there another way of doing this that would be more effective?'

Yes, what clients need is agency people using their creativity to make sure that everything is as effective as possible, and making sure that the advertising can offer a strong return on investment. Then they will be able to justify those expensive advertising costs to the rest of their company.

If you believe in the power of advertising to have a fundamental, positive and identifiable effect on a company and its bottom line, then you should go into any 'downturn' with a happy heart and your sleeves rolled up, because it's going to get very interesting.

What Can We Learn?

Well this is where it gets really interesting.

All advertising is meant to work. All advertising is meant to offer a value to companies over its cost. What a downturn/recession will do is make more people focus on that.
But what about when the economy goes gangbusters again? Does that signify a time that it's okay to waste advertising money again?

If you think about it, if anyone is planning to do anything different in a downturn, that means that they acknowledge that what they were doing previously was not good enough.
It gives me hope. We're in a time when I feel a lot of advertising people (and some marketing people) and agencies have lost their way a bit. They've forgotten why advertising was invented in the first place, they've forgotten that the sole reason for creativity in advertising is to increase effectiveness.

They have let advertising become nebulous, pseudo-scientific and bullshitty to the point where it is treated with as much scepticism as it ever has. And you have actual advertising people running around saying that the aim of advertising isn't to sell things, and other such nonsense.

In a nutshell, a lot of agencies and agency people are wasting their clients' money.
And some of those marketing people are going along with all of the nonsense.

What the recession will hopefully do is remind everyone in the business what it is they're meant to be doing, and to get them back on track. So that punters won't be subjected to meaningless nonsense on telly, in their papers, and on'tinternet - and so that businesses feel like their advertising budget is being spent in a well thought through, meaningful way.

What it hopefully will make people realise is that the type of advertising you do in a recession is the advertising you should always be doing.

Blind man in a bar

Not a big fan of blonde jokes but this one passed the scientific
Laugh 'O' meter™ test.

Blind man in a bar.

A blind man cautiously walks into a bar and orders a drink. After sitting there for a while, he shouts to the bartender, "Hey, you wanna hear a blonde joke?"

The bar immediately falls absolutely quiet.

In a very deep, husky voice, the woman next to him says, "Before you tell that joke, sir, I think it is only fair... given that you are blind, that you should know five things:

1. The bartender is a blonde girl with a baseball bat.
2. The bouncer is a blonde girl.
3. I'm a 6 foot tall, 175 lb. blonde woman with a black belt in karate.
4. The woman sitting next to me is blonde and a professional weight-lifter.
5. The lady to your right is blonde and a professional wrestler. Now, think about it seriously, Mister. Do you still wanna tell that joke?"

The blind man thinks for a second, shakes his head, and mutters, "Nah...not if I'm gonna have to explain it five times."

Christmas by Colour

"A not-for-profit exploration into the colours that shape our Christmas. Help us to identify the real Christmas colour spectrum by suggesting your own colour and its personal meaning. Abstract, funny or literal - the choice is yours. We'll be collating and uploading the best ideas as we go along with the aim of producing a Christmas by Colour poster as well as individual v-cards."

A nice little project looking at Christmas by Colour. Some literal, some abstract, some witty. I think there's gonna be a poster made with a selection of the best ideas, but in the meantime you can look at some ideas on their blog.

The branding of Polaroid

This morning I discovered a blog dedicated to the 'branding of Polaroid'. There's some quality stuff worth digging out in here. Earlier this year Polaroid announced they're no longer going to make the Polaroid instant film camera, the very essence of what Polaroid is. We have mentioned before about our love for Polaroid photos and what a shame this is, so you can help save Polaroid here.

This is...

The End. A great flickr collection of The End frames from old films. Some lovely old typography.

Lufthansa Airlines

Otl Aicher was one of the greatest graphic designers of the 20th century. Most well known and celebrated for his '72 Munich Olympics graphics, his work for Lufthansa Airlines is often overshadowed. I came across some Lufthansa stuff the other day and it reminded me how good it is.

The simple, bold and elegant visual system he put in place across the Lufthansa brand stood the test of time and looks fresher today than it did 40 years ago. A striking colour palette, clean layouts and solid typography made Lufthansa a visual icon.

Justin Steele NYC Photographer

We just got sent a note from Justin Steele, who is not a character from a 60's spy series, but rather a very talented NYC based photographer. Have a look at his portfolio here, which includes some very strong portraits and sports photographer. Unfortunately the website re-sizes your browser, one of our pet-web-peeves. But the work is great.

Welcome to epost

Here in Britain we have postmen, post offices, and postboxes.
When the postie comes in the morning (or afternoon sometimes) he is delivering our post.
So why, when I send a message by computer, is it an email?
The time has come to change it.
Welcome to the new beginning - epost.
It's like email, but it prefers jam sandwiches, and tea.

*Hmmm, on the side of Postman Pat's van, it says Royal Mail. We'll gloss over that.

The Father of British Graphic Design

Last Friday marked the opening of an exhibition in tribute to one of the worlds greatest designers, the late Alan Fletcher. From the 14th November to 3rd January PM Gallery & House in Ealing will be showcasing a series of posters illustrating Fletcher's work. Definitely worth going to see especially if like me you missed the design museum tribute.


Sleeveface. The art of posing with a record cover over your face. The phenomenon's been around a while now and used by quite a few radio stations including Smooth. Most of the ones I've seen haven't been that exciting but at the weekend I came across these gems.

Rabbit hunting

The SAS, the Parachute Regiment and the Police decide to go on a survival weekend together to see who comes out on top. After some basic exercises the trainer tells them that their next objective is to go down into the woods and catch a rabbit, returning with it ready to skin and cook.

Night falls.

First up - the SAS. They don infrared goggles, drop to the ground and crawl into the woods in formation. Absolute silence for 5 minutes, followed by the unmistakable muffled "phut-phut" of their trademark silenced "double-tap". They emerge with a large rabbit shot cleanly between the eyes.

"Excellent!" remarks the trainer.

Next up - the Para's. They finish their cans of lager, smear themselves with camouflage cream, fix bayonets and charge down into the woods, screaming at the top of their lungs. For the next hour the woods ring with the sound of rifle and machine-gun fire, hand grenades, mortar bombs and blood curdling war cries. Eventually they emerge, carrying the charred remains of a rabbit.

"A bit messy, but you achieved the aim; well done", says the

Lastly, in go the Coppers, walking slowly, hands behind backs whistling Dixon of Dock Green. For the next few hours, the silence is only broken by the occasional crackle of a walkie-talkie "Sierra Lima Whisky Tango Fanta One, suspect headed straight for you..." etc. After what seems an eternity, they emerge escorting a squirrel in handcuffs.

"What the hell do you think you are doing?" asks the incredulous trainer, "Take this squirrel back and get me a rabbit like I asked you five hours ago!".

So back they go. Minutes pass. Minutes turn to hours, night drags on and turns to day. The next morning, the trainer and the other teams are awakened by the police, holding the handcuffed squirrel, now covered in bruises, one eye nearly shut.

"Are you taking the piss!!??" asks the now seriously irate trainer.

The police team leader nudges the squirrel, who squeaks:

"Alright, alright, I'm a fuckin' rabbit!"

Dream cars of the future since the 50s

The Dream cars of the Future since the 1950s exhibition in Torino. I love this retro futurism style.

via Today & Tomorrow

Advertising's Dirty Little Secrets #1: It's All About People Not Process

Advertising is a simple business - selling products and services using wit and guile. But it has been made very complicated and convoluted. You see, the advertising industry harbours some dirty little secrets. Secrets that most ad agencies would prefer if you didn't know.

#1 - It's All About People Not Process

Most ad agencies have their buzzword 'process'. It's the thing that they claim makes them different (and better) than everyone else; "At TangerineLion, we use our Media Neutral Ideation Process to create the best advertising for clients", "At Tosh Babble & Prattle, we call our approach Big Bang Thinking".

Well they can call it what they like, because none of it matters.

I have never seen a process come up with a great advertising idea. Only people come up with ideas. And better advertising people come up with better advertising. It's quite simple really.

And this is one of advertising's dirty little secrets; it all about the people, not the process. People come up with the ideas. People make the advertising. Advertising is a people business. Work with really good people, and more often than not, you will get good advertising. It's the same in really big agencies - if you look at an agency, a very small proportion of their people will make the vast majority of their best work.

But ad agencies don't really want to accept this, and they certainly don't want clients to know it. This is because people are not ownable. People leave, people get sick, people change career, or move to other companies. The people who run ad agencies don't want it to be known that the key to great work lies in the hands of people.

They will try to sell you their process. But this is rubbish. It's just a way of justifying their inflated fee, and long lead times. It's a way of covering up the fact that there are not enough excellent people to work on everything. Your account, your precious marketing budget, may be entrusted to people who are not A1. Agencies like to let juniors cut their teeth on smaller accounts, but why do smaller clients only need junior thinking on their projects? If anything the opposite is true.

The tried and tested, and unimprovable way of getting great, effective advertising is to brief some really smart advertising people and let them come up with the goods. What you as a client should be interested in is who is going to be working on your business. Who is going to be doing the work? Because regardless of process, this will determine the quality of the work you get.

Quiz your agency on the work that the people working on your account have done in the past - not the agency, the individuals. The people responsible for that amazing, successful campaign you liked when you saw the agency reel might have left. Or they might now be creative director, or a group head, managing a department of other people, rather than doing work themselves.

And realise that when you meet the agency, and they wheel out the flow chart or diagram, or funny drawings, that show how their process works, behind the buzzwords they are all doing the exact same thing: putting some people on your account who are working out what to do.

People. Not process. It's one of advertising's dirty little secrets.

Say NO to Recession

We spotted this nicely framed poster in a frame shop in Clerkenwell yesterday evening. The poster fully echoes the sentiments of Sell!Sell! towards the recession.

We're sick of hearing 'that' word. Sick of seeing round the clock doom-and-gloom news coverage of falling house prices. Sick of reading almost daily scaremongering newspapers on the cost of living. OK, things don't look great, but all this media hype doesn't help, we don't need it. What we need is some positive thinking, to be proactive, to show some balls and fight it. Wheres that British bulldog spirit?

Once Upon a Time in the West

Great photography set by Aaron Schuman. The photos were shot on the eroding sets and locations of Sergio Leone's celebrated 60's 'spaghetti westerns', deep in the Almerian deserts of southern Spain.


A cracking collection of old and rare magic posters.


On Friday evening I went to see the new Jason Bourne, James Bond film, Quantum of Solace. It was rubbish.

The highlight of the evening was this classic Lego ad 'Kipper' that screened beforehand. The ad has been brought back to celebrate the 50th birthday of Lego. It was voted one of the 100 greatest adverts ever by viewers of Channel 4. Originally taken off air in 1982, it will be at showed at cinemas for a month. I'd recommend going to see QoS just for this.

Zidane: A 21st century portrait

A clip from “Zidane, A 21st Century Portrait” by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno. The music is “7:25” by Mogwai. A great film not just for football lovers but for anyone with an interest in cinema. There is some good extra footage on the DVD as well.

Dont panic it's Si Scott

The new Dont Panic pack is now available and this issues poster is designed by Si Scott on the theme of God. Not bad for free if you can find one.

Thirsty Work

As a kid I used to collect bottle tops. I had a big quality street tin full of them, but an over zealous mother threw them out during an epic spring clean. But I'm sure they weren't as clean and fresh looking as this lovely collection. I believe there's more to be added as well.

Found via KitsuneNoir

The Model Lodger

Doris and Fred had started their retirement years and decided to raise some extra cash by advertising for a lodger in their terrace house.

After a few days, a young attractive woman applied for the room and explained that she was a model working in a near-by city center studio for a few weeks and that she would like the room from Mondays to Thursdays, but would pay for the whole week.

Doris showed her the house and they agreed to start straight away.

"There's just one problem," explained the model. "Because of my job, I have to have a bath every night, and I notice you don't have a bath."

"That's not a problem," replied Doris. "We have a tin bath out in the yard and we bring it into the living room in front of the fire and fill it with hot water."

"What about your husband? asked the model.

"Oh, he plays darts most weekdays, so he will be out in the evenings," replied Doris.

"Good," said the model. "Now that that's been settled, I'll go to the studio and see you tonight."

That evening, Fred dutifully went to his darts match while Doris prepared the bath for the model. After stripping off, the model stepped into the bath. Doris was amazed to see that she had no pubic hair.

The model noticed Doris' staring eyes, so she smiled and explained that it is part of her job to shave herself, especially when modeling swimmer or underclothes.

Later when Fred returned, Doris related this oddity and he does not believe her.

"It's true, I tell you!" said Doris. "Look, if you don't believe me, tomorrow night I'll leave the curtains slightly open and you can peek in and see for yourself."

The next night, Fred left as usual and Doris prepared the bath for the model. As the model stepped naked into the bath, Doris stood behind her.

Doris looked towards the curtains and pointed towards the model's naked pubic area. Then she lifted up her skirt and wearing no panties, pointed to her own hairy mass.

Later Fred returned and they retired to bed.

"Well, do you believe me now?" she asked Fred. "Yes, he replied. "I've never seen anything like it in my life. But why did you lift up your skirt and show yourself?"

"Just to show you the difference," answered Doris. "But I guess you've seen me millions of times."

"Yes, said Fred, I have - but the rest of the dart team hadn't."

Art of the Arcade

I stumbled across this brilliant collection of 70s & 80s video arcade artwork this morning. All sorts of stuff from logos to packaging.

George Foreman Grill

A corking ditty by Rich Hall about the ex-boxer's contribution to the world of kitchen appliances. Cheese and scald-the-inside-of-your-mouth-tomato toastie anyone?

Haynes Manuals

Over the latter half of the 20th century Haynes Owners Workshop manuals have become an automotive institution. The books can be traced back to one man John Haynes who as a schoolboy built an Austin Seven Special and created a small booklet documenting it. A few years later he established a company and produced the first recognisable Owners Workshop Manual in 1965 for the Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite. His company J. H. Haynes & Co. Ltd then went from strength to strength building up the series of car manuals into a publishing empire.

The series became incredibly successful for its simple description of a careful strip down and rebuild of a vehicle, and illustrating each task with text and photographs. The manuals from the 70s to early 90s became iconic and collectible for their cover design. The covers featured a strong grid system, solid typography, elaborate cutaway drawings by Terry Davey and a bold colour background that varied from manual to manual. Easily recognisable on their own and a spectrum of colour when put together.

Terry Davey worked at Haynes from 1972-1991 and during that time he produced over 400 cutaways for the covers that became iconic in their own right, they are now available to buy as a collection. His retirement coincided with a decision to modernise the look of the manuals, with less detailed cutaways, and then a couple of years later they began to be produced in colour. A real shame.