Motocyclettes Monet et Goyon

September 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Gerard, Monet & Goyon, 1926

In 1926, the poster artist O.K. Gerard designed this beautiful poster for Monet & Goyon Motocylettes. It was a momentous year for Monet & Goyon, only two years after one of the founding partners Andre Goyon died of pneumonia, and the year that the company sold the record amount of machines – over 10,000! Unfortunately, this peak in sales was followed only several months later by the death of Joseph Monet, the second partner, forever changing the face of the company. During the next thirty years the company continued to produce motorcycles, until 1959 when it was absorbed into Motostandard.

Relatively ittle is known about the artist himself, although we do know that he continued to work into the 1930’s, designing posters for companies like Boyriven, an automobile supplier. The difference in design between the art deco Monet & Goyon and the more tradition and detailed Boyriven is striking, considering the fact that Monet & Goyon was designed and printed a full seven years before Boyriven. The bright colors, bold shapes, and central silhouetted figure are very characteristic of the 1920’s and 30’s. Life was moving faster in the early 1900’s. Buses, automobiles, and motorcycles like the one in this poster were moving people quickly from here to there, and as a result advertisements had to use simple designs and bright, bold colors to catch the eye of the passerby. One can simply glance at this poster and know instantly what it is advertising, which was an essential feature of a successful poster design.

Gerard, Boyriven, 1933

In contrast to the Monet & Goyon, Gerard’s later poster for Boyriven reverts back to a more detailed design that focuses less on the brand, and more on the image itself. Why does this poster seem to fall outside the art deco tradition? Check out the white box just below “Société Anonyme” – it’s a calendar! Companies would often print posters that included a calendar, which encouraged individuals to hang their advertisement in their garage or office for an entire year, giving individuals plenty of time to visually explore the image. Too simple, and individuals were more likely to take it down and throw it away. Talk about long term advertising!

This post was written by Emily Jackson, UC Berkeley History Student and Gallery Assistant
Edited by Elizabeth Norris, Owner, Vintage European Posters www.vepca.com

Vintage European Posters was established in 1997.
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