Vespa – Ça c’est formidable! (It’s Great!), 1955. Way Cool Poster via @intlposter

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Vespa - Ca c'est formidable (It's Great!), 1955. Artist: D Ambrose

Vespa – Ca c’est formidable (It’s Great!), 1955. Artist: D Ambrose

In 1955, the high-energy French actor and singer Gilbert Becaud released the hit song titled C’est Formidable! (That’s Great!). It was a perfect marketing opportunity for Vespa to create a hip poster campaign. The poster shows the singer nimbly mounting the scooter as if it were a skateboard (a recently minted pastime itself, at the publication of this poster). The background was equally hip, with Vespa’s patented pastel colors in asymmetrical, intersecting shapes that echo Mid-Century furniture design. Fantastique!

Vespa, or Wasp in English, was named in 1946 for its narrow waist, high-pitched engine and antenna-like handlebar. The product was perfectly suited for the war-torn country, where consumer budgets and poor roads made larger vehicles impractical.

In 1952, the vehicle’s popularity skyrocketed when Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck teamed up on a Vespa in Roman Holiday. By 1956, 1 million Vespas had been sold. The Vespa survives today as one of the most fun products on two wheels.

Image and description via, International Poster Gallery.

Could This Be The Holy Grail Of Sci-fi Animation Film Posters? – ‘A Trip To The Moon’ 1914

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A Trip To Mars Movie Poster - Lubin 1914

A Trip To Mars Movie Poster – Lubin Manufacturing Company, 1914

This poster would be an eye-catcher even without knowing anything about it. The illustration and graphic design just pop – it’s curious and fun, not unlike a lot of circus posters of the time that were designed to project those very elements. Unfortunately the artist is unknown – to collectors the poster is not. This might well be the Holy Grail of animated film posters. Invaluable, the world’s largest online auction marketplace, has listed this A Trip To Mars poster to go on auction on January 25, 2015, 11:00 AM EST. The auction house hosting the sale, Poster Auctions International, Inc., list the estimated price of this gem as $225,000 – $275,000.

This is their description:

Siegmund Lubin, a Polish Jew who came to this country in the 1870s, founded The Lubin Manufacturing Company, one of the earliest film production firms (later becoming The Betzwood Film Co.), in Philadelphia, and by 1912 was head of America’s first movie empire. He was known as “The King of the Movies,” becoming America’s first cinema mogul.

In 1902, Georges Méliès created A Trip to the Moon based on Jules Verne’s classic novel. It was the first movie to achieve worldwide fame. Lubin and other iconic contemporaries such as Thomas Edison were cited for rampantly pirating the film. Méliès sent his brother to the United States to stop it, establishing many of the copyright laws that still stand today. However, Lubin decided that he wasn’t going to be stopped, figuring out an innovative way to avoid paying royalties to Méliès: he created one of the earliest fully animated films ever produced, an American version of A Trip to the Moon, in 1914.

Animated films were extraordinarily unusual for the time. This production opened to the public six months prior to the release of WIndsor (sic) McCay’s Gertie the Dinosaur, which is often (incorrectly) cited as the beginning of movie animation. This, in fact, is the earliest film poster to ever surface representing a significant title in animation. And this is the only known specimen of it.

The design of this poster is noteworthy for its futuristic boldness and graphic clarity. There is no known surviving poster for the Méliès original film (and most probably none were produced). This is the only representation of the famous title, and one of the earliest science fiction artifacts ever discovered. Lubin went all out in this poster. He sensed that the sheer novelty of this animated film (crude and short as it was) would be worth a special marketing effort, therefore this spectacular poster. The A.B.C. company, which handled all of Lubin’s posters, gets design credit. It is doubtful that Vincent Whitman, the animator of the cartoon, had anything to do with the poster. The famed Otis plant in Cleveland (Otis Litho Co., Cleveland, OH – ed.) handled the stone lithographic work with precision.

So there you have it – a truly one-of-a-kind piece of American film history. It will be interesting to see if this rarity sells and by how much. The starting bid is $220,000. Imagine how great it would be to have an extra quarter-of-a-million dollars to spend on a fantastic little item like this.

Great Vintage Posters For Free? Yes!

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Free Vintage Posters .com provides free downloads of high quality vintage posters and retro art prints. While all the posters are readily available on the internet throughout various other websites, this site provides a kind of one-stop visit for a smorgasbord of treasures.

Neatly categorized, the visitor can easily search favorite areas of interest to see what’s available. Below are some personal favorites. Each category is above the image – if you click the category, you’ll be taken to that specific area. If you like the image posted, just click on it and you’ll be taken to the page where it can be downloaded for free.

Needless to say, right here is someone who is making plans on paper and frame choices. What an excellent resource!

Advertising

See Disneyland from the Air! Skyway, Tomorrowland - Vintage Disney Advertisement Printable Poster

See Disneyland from the Air! Skyway, Tomorrowland – Vintage Disney Advertisement Printable Poster

Travel

Las Vegas Fly TWA - Vintage Travel Printable Poster

Las Vegas Fly TWA – Vintage Travel Printable Poster

Animals and Nature

David Belasco's New Farcical Comedy, Naughty Anthony - Vintage Theater Cat Poster

David Belasco’s New Farcical Comedy, Naughty Anthony – Vintage Theater Cat Poster

Art and Design

Poster Show at the Hull House, Illinois Art Project - Vintage Art Design Poster

Poster Show at the Hull House, Illinois Art Project – Vintage Art Design Poster

Food and Drink

Fred Zizi, Aperitif Naturel, French Wine - Vintage Wine, Food/Drink Poster Printable

Fred Zizi, Aperitif Naturel, French Wine – Vintage Wine, Food/Drink Poster Printable

Western/Cowboy

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Impliccalo Piu In Alto, Clint Eastwood – Vintage Movie Printable Poster

Movies and Theater

The Cocaine Fiends - Vintage Movie Printable Poster

The Cocaine Fiends – Vintage Movie Printable Poster

Circus and Magic

Gentry Bros. Circus, Miss Louise Milton, Greatest Rider the World Has Ever Known - Vintage Circus Poster

Gentry Bros. Circus, Miss Louise Milton, Greatest Rider the World Has Ever Known – Vintage Circus Poster

Sports

Sport ou Tourisme un seul Club, Motorcycle Club de France - Vintage French Sports Printable Poster

Sport ou Tourisme un seul Club, Motorcycle Club de France – Vintage French Sports Printable Poster

War, Military, and Propaganda

Women, There's Work to Be Done and a War to be Won... Now! - Vintage WPA War Military Printable Poster

Women, There’s Work to Be Done and a War to be Won… Now! – Vintage WPA War Military Printable Poster