Tag Archives: Christmas Card

GPO Christmas Posters

The tendency of many people to post letters at the very last minute poses a considerable problem to the Post Office and Royal Mail especially in the run-up to Christmas. The large volume of post, late in the day or only a few days before the Christmas holidays, has made the allocation of resources and the efficient provision of service much more complex and costly since the 1930s. When the GPO Public Relations Department was created in 1934, a poster campaign to educate the public to “Post Early this Christmas” started and some striking and wonderful poster designs were produced. We wrote about this successful campaign in a previous blog and now want to present some of our favourite poster images to set the mood for Christmas – and to remind you to “Shop Early – Post Early.”

Shop Early – Post Early poster (Holly Leaf) by Derek Hass from 1953 (POST 110/4243)

Shop Early – Post Early poster (Holly Leaf) by Derek Hass from 1953 (POST 110/4243)

From the 1930s to the 1960s, the Post Office commissioned well-known designers like Jan Lewitt & George Him, Tom Eckersley or Barnett Freedman for posters informing the public about the correct use of the postal service. Just like modern advertising campaigns, the designers used animals, striking colours and humour to get their message across. Tom Eckersley’s “Be First, Not Last – Travel Early – Shop Early – Post Early” poster from 1955 features a pantomime horse in two halves: the front half (“Be First”) is smiling, the back half (“Not Last”) frowning. Dogs, Cats, Reindeer, Doves and Owls were equally popular motives to educate the public and prevent the Christmas rush.

Be First, Not Last – Travel Early – Shop Early – Post Early by Tom Eckersley from 1955 (POST 110/1340)

Be First, Not Last – Travel Early – Shop Early – Post Early by Tom Eckersley from 1955 (POST 110/1340)

Post Early (Dachshund) by Leonard Beaumont from 1950

Post Early (Dachshund) by Leonard Beaumont from 1950

Santa Claus himself also appears in different shapes and sizes – “on wheels” with his beard flying in the wind (Manfred Reiss, 1952), skating on ice (POST 110/3213 John Rowland Barker c.1951), or flying over a smoking chimney with a bag of parcels (Eric Fraser, 1946).

Travel Shop Post Early (Father Christmas) poster by John Rowland Barker a.k.a. Kraber from 1951 (POST 110/3213)

Travel Shop Post Early (Father Christmas) poster by John Rowland Barker a.k.a. Kraber from 1951 (POST 110/3213)

Post Early and get 20% off BPMA Christmas cards!

Buy your Christmas cards by the 19 November 2012 from the BPMA Online Shop and receive 20% off your Christmas cards order over £10 (before Postage & Packaging). Enter POSTEARLY2012 discount code at checkout, or visit our Public Search Room in London.

Virtual Advent Calendar – 14th December

In the lead-up to Christmas we are showcasing some of the festive items in our collection across our social networks. Behind the door of our virtual advent calendar today is…

Maltese military Christmas card (1942)

Maltese military Christmas card (1942)

Card sent from Malta in December 1942 by the 13th Battery Royal Artillery, after the siege of the island was finally broken.

More on this card

See larger images of all the items in our Virtual Advent Calendar on Flickr.

Virtual Advent Calendar – 7th December

In the lead-up to Christmas we are showcasing some of the festive items in our collection across our social networks. Behind the door of our virtual advent calendar today is…

‘We post our letters of good cheer/ Now that Christmas draws so near’ Christmas Card (Early 20th Century)

Christmas card: Image shows two young children posting letters in a letter box with snow on dome.

Image shows two young children posting letters in a letter box with snow on dome.

Inside is an image of children on a sledge with the Christmas Greeting ‘WISHING YOU LOTS OF FUN AND A RIGHT HAPPY CHRISTMAS.’

Handwritten dedication inside. Red cord binds card together

See larger images of all the items in our Virtual Advent Calendar on Flickr.

Virtual Advent Calendar – 6th December

In the lead-up to Christmas we are showcasing some of the festive items in our collection across our social networks. Behind the door of our virtual advent calendar today is…

Christmas Greeting from The Army Post Office Corps Bloemfontein (1890s-1920s)

A black and white lantern slide of an image of a map, with a group photo in front of Field Post Office in the centre.

A black and white lantern slide of an image of a map, with a group photo in front of Field Post Office in the centre.

See larger images of all the items in our Virtual Advent Calendar on Flickr.

Virtual Advent Calendar – 4th December

In the lead-up to Christmas we are showcasing some of the festive items in our collection across our social networks. Behind the door of our virtual advent calendar today is…

Pillar box Christmas Card (1860-1890)

A single sheet novelty Christmas card in the shape of a pillar box.

A single sheet novelty Christmas card in the shape of a pillar box.

See larger images of all the items in our Virtual Advent Calendar on Flickr.

Virtual Advent Calendar – 3rd December

In the lead-up to Christmas we are showcasing some of the festive items in our collection across our social networks. Behind the door of our virtual advent calendar today is…

Christmas Card: Good Wishes (c. 1860)

Printed Christmas Card with an image depicting a small child trying to reach the aperture of a first national standard pillar box.  Beneath the picture: 'I tarn't [sic] reach - Christmas Eve'.

Printed Christmas Card with an image depicting a small child trying to reach the aperture of a first national standard pillar box.  Beneath the picture: ‘I tarn’t [sic] reach – Christmas Eve’.

Inside two seasonal verses four lines each ‘With all good wishes’.

See a larger version of this and all the other items in our Virtual Advent Calendar on Flickr.

Virtual Advent Calendar – 1st December

In the lead-up to Christmas we are showcasing some of the festive items in our collection across our social networks. Behind the door of our virtual advent calendar today is…

The World’s First Christmas Card (1843)

Christmas card consisting of a lithograph on card with a rustic trellis dividing the card into three scenes.

An example of the first British Christmas card. The Christmas card was designed by John Callcott Horsley RA, from an idea by Sir Henry Cole (founding director of the Victoria and Albert Museum).The initial print run was for 1000 cards. The first edition of cards was lithographed and hand coloured by a professional colourer named Mason. Surplus cards from the original print run were sold under Henry Cole’s pseudonym of Felix Summerly for one shilling each. This card is one of these surpluses.

2003-0476

See larger images of all the items in our Virtual Advent Calendar on Flickr.