Bill Bernbach Said #1

A few years ago, I had the pleasure and luck of being introduced to the late, great Paul Arden by the smashing Roger Kennedy. It was fantastic to hear his thoughts and try to absorb a little bit of his obvious and massive experience. Anyway, at Paul's gallery in Petworth he had a poster that I think Roger had had done for him many years ago at a traditional hot metal letterpress. It's a vast collection of Bill Bernbach quotes, lovingly typeset, under the heading Bill Bernbach Said.

Extremely cheekily, I asked Paul if I could borrow it and have it copied. Being a generous and helpful man (and I think, liking the fact that I was cheeky enough to ask) he said I could. Bonanza. I took it and had it copied, and spent a very nervous few days while it was in my possession hoping nothing bad would happen to it. We now have the copy framed here at Sell! Towers, which is great for two reasons; one - I have fond memories of that time, and two, it's good just to wander up to the print and read different quotes now and again.

Even after all these years, BB's quotes still ring very true. So what I though I'd do is share one each day until I run out of them. I know they exist in different collections and in books and stuff, and that you've probably seen them a hundred times, but I thought it would be good to have them up here, in case anyone reading hadn't come across them before, and as a little reminder to those who have. And doing one every day will make me read them again.

So here’s Bill Bernbach Said #1...

“Rules are what the artist breaks; the memorable never emerged from a formula.”


  1. Wow - that's a lot of typesetting! Look forward to hearing the quotes!

  2. I'm gonna follow Picasso's advice and create a poster for myself, one quote at a time. I guess that makes a talented genius.

  3. Good idea.
    Wow, you're getting advice from Picasso - can I get the number of your medium?

  4. "Talent borrows, genius steals" Pablo Picasso.

  5. Can I borrow it?

    To copy?

  6. I have recently found out a different story of the origins of the poster. Apparantly the 'composing room' created this for a christmas give away that they sent to clients. the composing rooms logo and address is printed on the bottom of the poster. They have one hanging in their cutting room. I too cheekily borrowed and copied it.


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