Monday, 11 March 2013


I know what you're thinking - how did he get his
trousers inside the cast?  Simple - it's magic!

Sometime around 1981, a fellow I used to do signwriting for asked
if I would produce a poster to advertise a car insurance scheme he was
promoting.  So I did, and he was so pleased with it that he asked me to do
another one the same.  The poster was bloody huge, measuring 3' wide by
2 1/2' high, so I wasn't about to start from scratch, having had to spread
the first one out on the floor and lie on my stomach to do it.  Therefore,
being a reasonably clever laddie, I decided to photocopy the original
illustrations on the first poster, colour them by hand, and stick
them onto the new one.

So that's what I did.  I used EL TEMPO marker pens (remember
them?) for the lettering, which was very basic, but I'd underestimated
the work involved in the initial illustrations in regard to the price, so I
wasn't going to knock myself out.  (And I did this one cheaper as I was
using photocopies.)  The lettering wasn't anything special, but I was
pleased with the drawings, which weren't bad for a 22 year-old.

I had originally drawn the man off the top of my head, and the car
had been copied (freehand) from a small photo in a brochure, but they
were each too large to photocopy in one piece so I did them in sections
and then joined them together before affixing them to the new poster.
They were coloured in with a combination of felt markers and a flesh-
toned colouring pencil, as had the original (which had been drawn
with an ordinary Tempo writing pen).

I don't quite know why this poster has been lying in my cupboard for
over thirty years.  Going by the tack-marks and the dirt, it's definitely
hung on an office or workshop wall, so I can only assume I was given it
back at some stage to produce yet another copy, and then perhaps the
insurance company went bust or the fellow for whom I did the poster
ended his association with them.  Who knows?

Anyway, their loss is my gain, as I retain a reminder from my early
years when I was capable of turning things out practically overnight.

    The fate of the original poster remains unknown.   


Anonymous said...

"...early years when I was capable of turning things out practically overnight."

Boy, did that phrase ever strike a chord. There are times when I look at an old piece of work, and wonder how on earth I could sit up all night to get it done. Don't know if if it's a case of get-up-and-go-has-got-up-and-gone, or just plain laziness, but there's no way I could pull an all-nighter these days.

B Smith

Kid said...

Thing is, B, I used the word 'overnight' to mean that I had the poster ready for the next day. I only spent a couple of hours (maybe three) in the evening on it. Although, when I was freelancing full-time for IPC and Marvel, etc., there were occasions when I had to do 'all-nighters' in order to meet tough deadlines. I doubt that I could do it either these days.

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