As I am sure many of you will remember, when we debated the subject of reproduction posters, and London Transport reproductions in particular, I said something about how I really wouldn’t want to buy a poster with ‘This is a Reproduction’ stamped all over the bottom.
It turns out that I am wrong, because we’ve just bought two. Worse than that, we might even frame them. It’s all down to the quality of the illustrations though, and these are spectacularly great ones by John Burningham.
The originals are both from 1965 and were probably both reprinted in about 1971. Above is A Day On The River, but I like Winter even better than that.
While I am on the subject of John Burningham, can I also recommend his illustrated and very good autobiography. Not many artists or designers are able to write so fluently about the process of designing and making, so it is well worth the (slightly coffee-table) price. From this you can find out that designing posters for London Transport in the early 1960s was his first real leg-up to a career in illustration. This is his first ever poster, from 1961, courtesy of the London Transport Museum site.
Even though the posters are lovely, I’m still a bit surprised at our volte face. The only consolation is that we are in illustrious company, as Rennies have a copy of A Day on the River on sale on their website. Perhaps reproductions are the new vintage poster. Or perhaps just John Burningham reproductions are.