By coach, via Royston

I was planning to do a random image amnesty today, which would have been a collection of fabulous posters that I have picked up but not managed to jemmy into a blog post, and which are all now idly shuffling their feet in the great image waiting room which is my computer desktop.

Except I’m not going to, because this one was first.

Royston Cooper bus poster

Which meant I got distracted by thoughts of just what a great designer Royston Cooper was and went off to explore.  So now this post is made up of what I found along the way.

Mostly this was lots of lovely posters.  Like these from 1962, 1959 and 1962 again.

Royston Cooper shopping by bus vintage poster

Royston Cooper Hastings Poster  1959

Royston Cooper Country Afternoon tickets

He’s probably best known for his Keep Britain Tidy posters.  This one from 1962 is the one you find most often,

Royston Cooper vintage Keep Britain Tidy poster lion

including at the bottom of our stairs.  But the later (1965) pelican is also fine.

Royston Cooper vintage Keep Britain Tidy poster pelican

What’s intriguing about searching for him online is that, unusually, the vast majority of results came from auctions.  There are a few pieces of his work in the NRM collection including this 1960 poster.  Sailing from Harwich has never looked so glamorous.

Royston Cooper vintage poster 'The Continent via Harwich', BR (ER) region, 1960.

And there’s also this slightly grim NRM image of another great design.

Royston Cooper How to run a railway pink vintage poster

1962 again.  Must have been a vintage year for him.

This railway brochure (an object which combines both railwayana and ephemera and thus is very frightening to me indeed) came from a railway flickr set.

Royston Cooper Railway brochure

But that’s about it.  And there’s nothing written about him either, literally all I know are his dates, 1931-1985, and even those are from Christies.

Even without information, though, people must like him because his work certainly sells.  The Hastings poster above went for over £1000 at Christies four years ago, and they’ve sold lots of other posters that just don’t appear anywhere else.  Like this 1965 effort for VSO  – and it went for £110, what a bargain.

Royston Cooper VSO vintage poster Christies

As well as this second lovely coach poster from 1958 (spectacularly modern for the date and costing a mere £192)

Royston Cooper coach poster 1958 Christies

and this less characteristic piece of 1965 Times advertising as well which went for £300.

Royston Cooper Top People Take the Times poster Christies 1965

I’m going to try and find out a bit more background, but for now, here are some more coach posters to keep you happy while that happens.  And if you do know anything about Royston Cooper at all, please get in contact, I’d really like to hear from you.

Royston Cooper 2 x Thames Valley posters Christies 1960

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5 Comments

  1. Posted April 23, 2010 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Pretty good post. I just came by your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  2. crownfolio
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Glad you liked it! I’ll be back again next week, don’t worry

  3. Posted April 27, 2010 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Dear crownfolio!
    Just wanted to mention that you were mentioned in Coudal Partners – Fresh Signals. I hope it means a lot more people finds your great blog. Carry on. :)

  4. crownfolio
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Many thanks for that – and the kind words!

  5. Tony Gregory
    Posted September 15, 2011 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Dear Crown folio, I met up with Royston in London in the early 60′s, his larger than life presence and personality swept all before him although always claiming that his kidneys wouldn’t allow him to last long. I managed to keep up with him until the late 70′s just before my emigrating to Australia. His design for anything had the stamp of Royston, be it golf championships for Schweppes or restaurants, always seeming to use the talents of master ceramist Appicella. I could go on for ages but should you need more detailed anecdotes please do not hesitate to get in touch
    Yours Tony Gregory

One Trackback

  • By uberVU - social comments on April 24, 2010 at 5:18 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by QuadRoyal: The quirky 60s brilliance of Royston Cooper needs to be better known http://bit.ly/cRP9tu

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