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Planning Next Season's Cm( ['ravel Publicity

25th October 1946
Page 36
Page 37
Page 36, 25th October 1946 — Planning Next Season's Cm( ['ravel Publicity
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

EXCEPT in isolated instances, the poster publicity put out by road passenger transport undertakings is not comparable in quality vvith that of the railways, London Transport, of cotirse, stands in a class by itself among roadtransport enterprises, and its posters are a delight. Even the Board's timetable posters are pleasing to the eye, because the typographical display is skilfully executed and the type face employed is legible and dignified. They show up in unfavourable contrast some of the advertising efforts of smaller undertakings, which appear to have been the results of liaison between the traffic manager and the local printer, in which neither felt really happy in his task.

Why Not Co-operative Advertising ?

Admittedly, good publicity is expensive, but the position of the road passenger transport industry requires that poster advertising shall be of the highest possible quality. The cost to the individual could be reduced and the standard of advertising raised if an association or group of operators adopted one or two designs by first-class artists, and placed large printing orders for them, selling the "skeleton" posters to operators for over-printing to meet their own special needs. Co-operative advertising is worthy of serious consideration in that it provides a relatively cheap means • for securing the best work.

Advertising appeals are, in the main, of two distinct kinds. One seeks to build lip the prestige of the advertiser and to create in the public a general desire for his facilities or products. • The other is shaped to sell a specific amenity. The wholly pictorial poster usually fails into the first class. In the second category are included timetable posters and displays that combine artistic representation with a written message intended to draw the potential passenger to a particular service.

A fair cross-section of poster advertising is provided by 16 posters issued by 12 different road passenger transport concerns. Only eight of the designs enatild be described as good, although some of them are spoiled by inept draughtsmanship. • Five are poor in conception and execution, colours often being hard and ugly, and designs complicated and confused. The remaining three are of fair standard, but can hardly be regarded as worth the money that they cost. Even most of the good designs lack vitality.

Among those under review, the only poster that conveys a compelling message is one issued by London Coastal Coaches, Ltd. It contrasts effectively the smoke of the town with the sunshine of the country, and offers a real incentive to travel. That poster, incidentally, is of the "prestige' type, whereas most of the others have a direct appeal.

Illustrated on these pages are five suggestions, scaled for reproduction to the §ize of 20 ins. by 30 ins., by our chief artist, who is a well-known poster designer. They are offered to the road passenger transport industry for the ideas that, they contain, and may be freely copied or adapted • by any orerator.

Fig. 1 is a five-colour design suggestive of the rural , scenery enjoyed to the greatest advantage by road travel. It is suitable for use as a standard design by almost any company, but, by over-printing in Mack in the space indicated by " Blank" •fines, it can be adapted to give information on specified services.

Fig. 2 is drawn in "free-edge" style in two colours on a white background. Its appeal ii equally suitable for operators of stage carriage and express services. It aims at consolidating goodwill, rather than advertising a specific service.

As in Fig 2,-so in Fig. 3 the coach is the central theme. Three-colour printing is suggested. By subtle association of the coach with a crowd in the background, the idea of the popularity of road travel is conveyed. This design combines a strong pictorial interest with timetable information, which may be over-printed in the space below the illustration.

About six printings would be involved in carrying out the artist's conception portrayed in Fig, 4 (Calydon Coaches). The appeal is a romantic one. Pictorial and typographical display share the space equally. Again-, this design could be adopted as universal throughout a company and overprinted with local information.

Fig. 5 portrays a market scene from an unusual angle and introduces the passenger vehicle as a secondary interest. In reproduction, this is the most ambitious of our artist's five suggestions, and to do it justice would require about eight printings. " Blank " lines indicate space for type.

Quotations for Printing The cheapest process for printing posters of this kind is the silk-screen technique, which is ideally suited to the reproduction of colour work in small quantities. A London silk-screen printer was asked to quote for the production of these five designs in the numbers of colours specified and on the basis of 100 copie4 of each. His prices, including the cost of paper, were—Fig. 1. £15; Fig. 2, £8; Fig, 3, £9; Fig. 4, £16 10s.; and Fig. 5, £20.

The poster is, of course, not the only means for advertising road passenger transport. There are various devices for display in booking offices, all of which, to be effective, must be carefully designed and executed by experts.

One of the most attractive publicity media is the relief map model, accurately constructed and coloured to reproduce a section of the country through which road services pass. The Devon General Omnibus and Touring Co., Ltd., and the-Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Co., Ltd.' employ maps of this kind, which effectively draw potential

, passengers to the windows where they are displayed.


Locations: Birmingham

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