For fans of classic Disney and hand-drawn animation, a digitzed collection of vintage holiday greetings from Walt Disney and his “Staff” may make you smile. Many of the vintage Christmas card designs tied in with the year’s big feature film (such as Alice in Wonderland in 1951, and Lady and the Tramp for 1955) and when unfolded revealed a calendar with an ever growing cast of characters. Sometimes the cards included a teaser for a project in production, like the card from 1950 adding in a promotion for Peter Pan. An early card from 1938 is heart-warming and depicts an appropriation of “The Night Before Christmas” in panels (the same poem was a theme for an earlier Silly Symphony). In 1939, Pinocchio was the inspiration for the season’s greetings.
c. 1947 / 48
“...It’s time again to share this batch of wonderful Christmas cards from the Disney studio collected by Disney animator, Claire Weeks from 1938 through the mid-1950s. The designs on these cards are so much fun, it makes you wish the films themselves looked this cartoony.” —ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive
c. 1950 / 51
Clair Weeks, an animator for the Disney studio, collected many of the illustrated cards throughout the years. Thanks to ASIFA and the family of Clair Weeks, some of them are shared online for all to enjoy. I wish I knew if a specific Disney artist was responsible for the card’s design each year. The front facing illustration for the 1951/1952 card looks like it might be based on concept art by Mary Blair, comparing this to a record album sleeve for The Little House (image directly below from flickr collection of Dan Goodsell).
c. 1951 / 52
(these vintage card scans and more Disney Studio Christmas cards via the ASIFA)
One card not included in the ASIFA round-up is the very first Disney Studio Christmas card from 1930 featuring Mickey Mouse. The illustration was done by Floyd Gottfredson. At auction, this card fetched $1,725. Interestingly, the second studio card from 1931 sold for significantly more money as did a 1932 card signed by Walt Disney himself.
(image found via Vintage Disney Collectibles via Hake’s Americana)
How awesome it must’ve been to receive one of these cards in the mail. I hope the recipients appreciated them and saved them for their family.
“...The designs ﬁnd inspiration in modern art styles, such as action painting and pop art. The motif rabbits are depicted using black silhouettes that are adorned with orange and purple paint splatters, which create lively compositions. The backgrounds, which are yellow with random red splatters, cleverly make use of traditional Chinese ink-wash effects. The bright colors symbolize joy and convey high expectations about the Year of the Rabbit...” —Chunghwa Post
I appreciate the thought put into the symbolism of the stamp designs. For example, the descriptive copy for the stamp with two kissing rabbits reads: “This pair of rabbits conveys the idea of “the treasuring of each other” and symbolizes a year of abundance.” The stamp with the little bunny looking up represents “achieving success in all one’s endeavors.”
The stamps are printed by the China Color Printing Co., Ltd. on phosphorescent stamp paper. the name of the designer was not indicated. They are graphically a little busy, but fun and festive.
(more info via The Chungwha Post)
Now there is a whole line of gift wrapping papers (sold 3 sheets a set) just in time for the holidays which are bringing back the beauitful work of Alexander Girard to a wider audience. The choices for gift wrap (available only in UK through Lagom?) are available in six different pattern styles: Dove & Hand (red), Dove & Hand (blueish green), Eden, Names, Retrospective, and Tablecloth.
Incase you aren't familiar with the design and illustration work of Alexander Girard, here is a little background:
“Alexander Girard (1907 – 1993) is one of the greatest colorists, pattern makers, environmental and exhibition designers of the 20th century. Hired by Herman Miller in 1952, Girard led the company’s textile division where he brought color and life to the modern furniture creations of George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames. He's left his distinctive fingerprints on the world of avant-garde with his celebrated contributions to the New York La Fonda del Sol restaurant, Braniff International Airlines. Using folk art as his inspiration, Girard created whimsical and sophisticated designs that have urged each of us toward a more personal and expressive way of life.” —Lagom UK
The above edition of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot (Esperando a Godot) is from 1969.
(more designs and illustrations via A Journey Round My Skull and El Enigma Pertierra)
Chris Ware’s “Discovering America” editorial cartoon for The New Yorker sets a depressing mood for Columbus Day 2010. I only purchase The New Yorker magazine a few times a year, and it is usually on whim when I catch a Chris Ware illustration gracing the front cover.
He usually blends together wit with somber and beautiful color palettes. Should I cough up the money to see how this content transfers over to The New Yorker's newly released iPad app? (download on iTunes here)
“Money...it makes you crazy...A couple of nights ago Phil and I discovered our checking account was overdrawn...” —beginning excerpt from Chris Ware editorial cartoon
The pull-out comic strip tackles sensitive issues surrounding American families and the economic situation. Along with Chris Ware's illustrative commentary, the October 11th issue includes features written by Jonathan Franzen, Malcolm Gladwell, Philip Gourevitch, Jennifer Egan, and Zadie Smith.
The vendor asked if I was a collector of Dennison's and mentioned that some specifically collect designs produced by the brand. I had no idea who Dennison's was but I was immediately curious. The Dennison Manufacturing Company of Framingham, Massachusetts was founded in 1844 and eventually merged with Avery in 1990.
My preliminary searches did not provide too much history on the little stationery supply boxes and bookcases. But I did come across a few other variations of the same concept. So far I haven't spotted the same design twice, but I'll be paying more attention the next time I wander the flea market.
vintage Dennison's office supplies in a mini cabinet (via fresh vintage)
vintage Dennison's preserve labels (via bricolage-julier)
rare Dennison's miniature wood bookcase with train illustration (via etsy)
If anyone has any more information about the design of these cute, little office supply boxes, I'd greatly appreciate the expertise and comments.
Direction and animation by Blu
Produced and distributed by Artish.it Music by Andrea Martignoni
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These aren't Stephen Doyle's first appropriated money illustrations. Back in 2009, his "Let's dump the greenback" dollar bill appeared in Wired.
Maybe best of all is his 3-D sculptural bill for the cover of Wired magazine in March 2010.
(image via Felt and Wire's interview with Stephen Doyle)
This year Stephen Doyle won the National Design Award for Communication Design. Print magazine also included him and his wife Gael Towey in their feature on Design Couples.
The book is by the Editors of McSweeney's. Brian McMullen and Michelle Quint are credited for much of the design and editing of the book.
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