Monday 30 April 2012

timeless vintage logo #8 Alsa

Also for this special issue of my blog dedicated to vintage logo we stay in Alsace. Sometime ago, when I was looking for a nice logo feature here, I discovered this cute enterprise, founded in Nancy in 1897: Alsa. I've chosen this brand following a two-fold consideration:

First, the core business of this firm is linked with the production of sweeties. Leaven powder, preparation for cookies and cakes, vanilla sugar etc... as soon as I've found Alsa's leaven bags at grocery's I made some muffins!

Second, Alsa's bags are so cute: rose since late XIX century, the little stylish Alsatian woman gave me the idea to carve a stamp with her shape... I hope you like it!!

Wednesday 25 April 2012

My favorite illustrators # 8 Hervé Morvan

In my last post, I wrote about Alsace and amazing tastes coming from this region. And Alsace is giving me the opportunity to pass to a new issue of my favorite illustrators series: indeed I actually stumble upon a very cute illustration of 1962 made by Hervé Morvan for L'Alsacienne, a historical brand of cookies - which alas does no more exist nowadays. This firm, founded in 1904, was one of most famous French producers of cookies, and its "heroine", called friendly la Petite Sophie (the little Sophie), was its logo since its incorporation. When Morvan was called to redefine the public visage of this brand, la Petite Sophie became so cute that, even if supermarkets do not sell this cookies yet, she's able to delight everybody at the first sight!!

Morvan was, along with Raymond Sevignac, Bernad Villemot, and Jean Colin, one of most famous French illustrators for commercial advertising of 1950s and 1960s. This period was the core of the economic boom in many European regions, and society was swiftly getting through a transformation of taste and habits... the mass society was coming in France as well and a period of economic welfare was opening the door to new needs and new way of consummations. In this context, advertising had a key role for firms, which started to wrestle for having the best image to find their way into people's hearts. Illustrators reshaped by this way the visual idea of brands also for future generations... Once Raymond Sevignac argued that successful advertisement had to be "visual scandals"; Morvan made maybe even better, he produced immortal cuties. 

Yet, not everybody knows that Morvan started his artistic activity in relation to cinema. While during 1930s carried out an initial activity as drawer of cinemas' frontages - I think during this period was common that cinemas changed their fronts to adapt them to movies they were projecting - in 1940 he started a new career. He was (luckily) rejected from army for an illness and during the war he became one of most famous illustrator for movie posters... almost all big success since than were signed by Hervé Morvan. It was nice for me to discover that one of my favorite films, De Sica's Ladri di Biciclette (Bicycle Thieves), here in France was promoted with a Morvan's advertisement, which you can admire here above. 

Morvan influenced commercial communications for longtime and still today some of his draws are more than simply "ads"; some illustrations can be considered real master pieces, such as this Gitanes' cigarettes poster. Art and business in a certain way came together and mass society was not yet so trivial in its attempt to convince people to consume. And that is more true since nearby the Louvre was opened Les Arts Décoratifs, a museum dedicated to design (industrial and not), advertising and mass society.  If you had the change to get in Paris, I suggest you to pop in and see the special collections about "Advertising museum" that are organized in it.

And, inspired by the cute Petite Sophie, I reproduced this Morvan's draw used for an Alsacienne's advertising... I hope you like it, it was so funny to be carved!!!

Friday 20 April 2012

Treasures of Paris #8. Schmid Alsatian delicatessen

For this issue of my special treasures that you can find walking around in Paris, I'd like to challenge conventional wisdoms about Parisian culinary habits. If you are in Paris and, in spite of all macarons and viennoiseries that you can find at each street corners, an unusual wish of salted carbohydrates floods over you, one of absolutely best choices can be to try an authentic Alsatian Breztel. And my favorite place where to eat them is obviously Schmid, an original Alsatian delicatessen that twirl this delicious and cute snack here in Paris since 1904.

Alsatian culture in strongly linked to Paris. Almost all traditional "brasseries", such as Lipp in Saint-Germain de Près, or Bofinger nearby Bastille, or Flo beyond porte Saint Denis, were founded at the end of XIX century by Alsatians that moved to Paris after the German annexation of this region. Yet, differently to these other quite luxury and expensive places, Schmid offers good deals for delicious dishes to take away from the best Alsatian tradition: choucroutes, cheeses, kouglofs, and, above all, Breztels! Sometimes, they are also able to let me forget my beloved italian pizza al taglio....

And, more to be delicious, Bretzels are also very cute! For that I hand carved a special Alsatian rubber stamp with which I have afterward decorated a handmade skirt... If you'd like to customize your stuff with this delicious stamp, you can find it on my etsy... I hope you like it!!!

Otherwise, if you desire to try delisous bretzels, you can find Schmid in Paris, 76 bd. de Strasbourg, 75010, Mon to Sat 9h-20h, website:, tel. 0033 (0)1 46 07 89 74, e-mail :

Sunday 15 April 2012

With a stamp you can...

With a stamp you can decorate your diary, your notebooks, your cards, your gift wrappings, your messages, and so forth... all your paper projects could became unique thanks to the magic touch of an hand carved rubber rubber stamp! it's so easy and so fun for me to pick up a stamp from my drawer, to dab it in an ink pad, and to reproduce its design endlessly on paper stuff!

Yet, the aspect that I like the most in stamps is that they can be used also in projects other than the ones related to "classic" paper. As I have already showed last spring and last summer, stamps can be used to print by hand unique patterns on fabric with much ease and fun!!!
And about "printing by hand", I'd like to recommend this amazing book by Lena Corwin, an illustrator and books writer based in Brooklyn, in which she is able to explain how to carry out all kinds of projects of hand printing with stamps, stencils and silk screening... I'm sure that this book will be able to explain you perfectly how to choose the best ink or paint and the optimal surface for the various printing methods.

Thanks to the good and precious advices of Lena, I have made a cute hand printed bag for this spring: after having created a design with a bike and having turned it into a hand carved rubber stamp, I printed my fabric creating unique patterns with bikes. All in this bag is hand made: the stamp, the pattern, and also the bag... the satisfaction is triple!! For the proof of the pudding, you can use this sketch as pattern to make your hand printed bag using your favorite stamp... for instance, I made this bag also using two other stamps inspired to the cute design of Bobo Choses as a gift for two friends of mine fan of this brand...

I hope you like it!

Sunday 8 April 2012

Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter to everybody!!!

Monday 2 April 2012

Would you like to tell me a story?

I'm very glad to present here you some new friends in felt, for which I took inspiration directly from my best favorite fairy tales. These stories are timeless: each generation of child read or listen their parents reading them, and their cuteness is able to get through various epochs, without loosing their original allure...

Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland and White Snow, I love these fairy tale since I was child: check out on my etsy the necklaces and brooches in felt that I dedicated to them!! I hope you like them!!!

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