Friday, 1 February 2013

Regardez les Buvards!

I can't quite believe that its taken me so long to address the subject of the Buvard. The what?.... Let me explique - Buvard roughly translates from the French as blotter. From what I can gather buvards were publicity items which were made available in the bars and cafes of France. They originate from the days when everyone used a fountain pen and therefore would need something with which to blot. They sit nicely in scale between the ginormous posters and tiny matchbox designs of which I am so fond. The work of some of what are regarded as some of the great French poster artists of the 1950s, 60s and 70s can sometimes be found on them. I'm talking about artists like Raymond Savignac, Herve Morvan, Leo Kouper, Lefor Openo and although there is quite a large amount of dross, there's also some real gems. A lot were screen printed which makes them even more like little works of art. Here's some I particularly like.