Tuesday, December 18, 2018


An exercise in style

As a pendant to my previous post on a clock in Bridgwater, here’s another outstanding Art Deco clock. It’s in the centre of Gloucester and it’s something I’ve meant to post for ages. If you look at this next to the Bridgwater clock, a few similarities of design are obvious – the stepped shape of the case and the cross-braces on the bracket in particular. But whereas the Bridgwater clock has just the one step at each corner, this one has five. It also has some seriously twentieth century lettering: all sans serif, but with the shop name, Avant Garde, treated to striking graphic variations – a sloping vertical arrangement on the edge of the clock case, and a shrinking/expanding visual effect on the front. I remember that dual shrinking/expanding effect used quite widely when I was a boy – which was in the early 1960s, though I suspect that the examples I was looking at, on signs and bus destination blinds among other places, were survivors from the 1950s or even 1940s. All this tricksy lettering certainly gets our attention, and it’s complemented by a very clear clock dial. It’s altogether an effective advertisement for the no doubt stylish stylists who plied their scissors beneath.

1 comment:

Michael W said...

I picture Teddy Boys patronising the Avant Garde salon