Now, bear with me. I know that I’ve gone on about Hans Schleger’s design work for Macfisheries before, and I also know that some of these photographs are a bit duff. But I still can’t resist showing you some more of these.
They are simply too wonderful to resist.
Once again, the images come from Colin French, who runs the meticulously-researched Macfisheries site. In this case, he managed to track down the son of the company’s former logistics director, who’d kept a whole archive of these display posters.
Some, like the poster above, I’ve seen illustrated before; others are completely new to me.
He apparently rescued them from a skip at Macfisheries’ head office. They’re a fascinating slice through the kind of work that Schleger’s studio was producing – not just the ‘show’ posters like the ones above, but more workaday examples of marketing too.
A few of these posters do worry me though. A fish entreating me to eat other fish is getting dangerously close to cannibalism.
Especially when it starts filleting its brethren.
Mind you, I used to feel the same way about blackcurrants advertising Ribena, so perhaps I worry about these things too much.
One of the many interesting things about these pictures is that the collection doesn’t just cover the Schleger-era designs. There are examples of work from (I’m guessing) the early 1920s right up to World War Two.
And then goes on to what I suspect are designs that came afterwards as well.
But perhaps the most fascinating story is that some of the posters were just design trials, and never made it into the shops. Unfortunately, I have no idea which ones they are. Perhaps this rather hypnotic hare,
which is far too much like a pet to consider eating.
Or possibly the brainwave that you might want to give a MacFish token.
The posters do also make me mourn what the posters present as a golden age of fish shopping, when native oysters and pheasant could not only be bought on the high street but also delivered to my door. But I wonder whether it tasted as good as the posters looked? Remembering the smell of the fish sh0p in the Midlands market town where I grew up, I’m not totally sure that it would have done.