I was going through my collection of Victorian cuttings the other day (as you do), and was struck once again by how great the old 1800s advertisements were. It was a boom period for typeography, design and headlines, giving rise to a massive variety of adverts in publications, on billboards, playbills, the sides of omnibuses... essentially any black space in Victorian London became prime real estate for an advertisement. The results, however, varied from the beautiful to the surreal, and the downright terrifying ("Toothache sir? Try some cocaine." "Bad posture, madam? You'll need an electric corset.")
Not all Victorians were enamoured by the glut of advertising, as this Punch cartoon from 1886 illustrates:
ADVERTISING IN EXCELSIS.
Mrs. Blokey, Junior (who is of a romantic turn)."MY! AIN'T THE MOON LOVELY, GLITTERIN' ON THE WYVES! IT DOES ONE'S HEART GOOD TO SEE IT!" Mr. B. (Blokey and Son). "AH! AND WOULDN'T IT DO ONE'S 'ART GOOD TO SEE 'BLOKEY AND SON'S PICKLES' PRINTED RIGHT ACROSS IT IN CAPITAL LETTERS, BIG ENOUGH FOR ALL THE WORLD TO READ WITH THE NAKED HI!"
Punch, Almanack, 1886
I'll leave you with some of my favourites:
|Yes, as we all know, there are but two infallible powers in this world!|
|An instantaneous cure, suitable for your... children? Argh!|
|Need one of these for the pesky squirrel that eats my strawberries...|
If you're interested at all in Victorian design, I can't recommend this book highly enough: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Victorian-Scrapbook-Robert-Opie/dp/0954795490/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417777467&sr=8-1&keywords=the+victorian+scrapbook