Properly Designed Posters Please

Today, a wallow in some lovely designs for no good reason at all

I’ve been meaning to write about the Post Office’s ‘Properly Packed Parcels Please’ series for ages, ever since finding them praised in Design Magazine.

Properly Packed Parcels Please vintage GPO poster woman out of hat

There’s a whole series of these posters (they seem to stretch from 1962 until the early 70s), and what I like about them is that they’re still trying to do great modern poster design at a time when most other institutions have more or less given up.

Perhaps the most arresting are this psychedelic series from about 1967-8.

Properly Packed Parcels Please Tom Bund poster 1967

Paul Rennie has the first one down as being by Negus Sharland; ours (hence the rather grim photos, apologies as usual) are signed either Tom Bund or Bund/Negus and Negus, so go figure.

Properly Packed Parcels Please tom bund 1968

Unfortunately I don’t know enough about the organisation of British advertising and design in the 1960s to be able to shed much light on this.  However, a bit of light Googling has told me that Tom Bund is alive and working, so I’ve dropped him a line and perhaps he can help.

There were also some more cartooony designs by Andre Amstutz and Harry Stevens in 1965 and 1963 respectively (from the BPMA catalogues).

Andre Amstutz Properly Packed Parcels Please GPO 1965

Harry Stevens GPO parcels poster 1963

But I do have to confess to a slight pleasure that we’ve got a few of these posters that the BPMA don’t (I know it’s mean, but they’re a museum, and we’re not, so it’s not something I can often do).  They do have this 1968 one by George Karo.

G B Karo vintage GPO poster properly packed parcels

But not this, from the same year.

George Karo {Properly Packed Parcels please GPO poster

And just in case you’re wondering why people need so much telling about packing their parcels properly, an earlier, 1952 poster by Karo gives us an insight into the strange things that the British public get up to with their postal service.

Karo soft fruit by post genius GPO poster

Remember, fruit juice may cause serious damage to the mails.  Now there’s a lesson to take away with you for the weekend.