Tag Archives: art-deco

Pictures for a Bar…

28 Aug

I had a lovely call last week from the friendly owners of the about to be opened Preston Bar in Leeds. Could I provide some Art-Deco posters for the moody (Hague blue) wall in their beautifully designed new drinking establishment?

Of course the answer was yes, and 4 fab images now enhance the quirky and ever so slightly eccentric decor that the North Bar team are famous for.



And they have lovely wallpaper in the toilets too…



A nice result all round.


What’s in a name?…

28 Jun


Using good old fashioned pen and paper and a some brain cells..Thinking up my business name has been one of the most enjoyable tasks I’ve done since starting up my business!

Many of us have spent hours thinking about what we’d call our dream business if it ever came to fruition or come up with the ‘perfect’ business name but with no idea what the business would really do..

Well, I started out knowing I wanted to sell vintage advertising. It was probably going to be mostly French, initially at least, and I knew the era I loved most, and had most stock from, was the 1920s art deco period. I needed a name that captured the feel of my products, indicating what I would sell while also giving me scope for future expansion of my product line.

I did loads of brainstorming and doodling in the back of my colourful leather notepads (turquoise being the current favourite). I initally started off with the name ‘Vintage Prints’ because that’s what I sold. Not very imaginative but it was a starting point and enabled me to at least put an identifiable business name on the pictures I was selling.

Then a number of people suggested using my own name as my business name. I didn’t think this would work as I had a clear idea of the brand I was wanting to create and that wasn’t going to be based on me personally…plus my name is a bit too long!

I love typography, old letterpress letters, faded ink and antique paper and thought that the word ‘Press’ perfectly described the adverts from old press magazines I was selling.

The penultimate name I came up with was actually ‘The Vintage Press’ but, luckily I now think, there is already a swanky, art-nouveau style restaurant in California with this name who also owned the domain.

The next evening while writing new lists of all the key words which represented what I wanted to do, I replaced ‘Vintage’ with ‘Deco’ and realised I had found my name. 

Amazingly no-one else registered it and the domain for both .co.uk and .com was available.  I snapped them up!

Overall it took me around 4 months to come up with ‘The Deco Press’. And I LOVE it!

I’d love to know the process you used to come up with your business name and if you are still happy with it later down the line…




Coming up: Registering and hosting a new business domain name


Why French Art Deco Advertising Art?

24 May


I originally started out selling vintage furniture and home wares, but this seriously cluttered up our house and seriously annoyed my other half who lived a simple life before he met me..!

I love the buzz of buying and selling. I think I’m really a market trader at heart! I’ve always enjoyed spotting the potential in the unloved and giving things new life. Haggling and bartering are my just my thing, and it’s amazing how far you can get with a smile and a bit of parlais Franglais!

I visit France a lot and my purchasing first started with a bargainous 6 euro ‘Atomic Era leatherette armchair’ which I pulled out of a skip in the backyard of a Brocante (antique / junk shop in varying degrees depending on the ambitions of the owner). I bought it back wedged in the back of the car only to be mocked for its missing foot and general garishness.

However, a few months living with the red and black plastic amongst my muted decor and my confidence in the chair wavered. It ended up back in a skip. Only later, once I’d discovered ebay did I realise I had briefly owned a classic piece of 60s french design. Potential Sale price £350. Damn.

(I’ve realised there are two lessons to learn here; 1. Only buy what you really love, not just what you think will sell well. 2. Don’t buy broken items when you know you’re the kind of person who won’t get round to fixing them.)

A few years and more than a few markets later, I happened to buy some old magazines as I had spotted lovely pictures in them. When I got them home and looked at them closely I actually preferred the adverts and decided to frame a few for my walls. I bought a few more and my collection grew. Friends asked me where I’d found the images and wanted to know if I had any more they could buy.

I sold a few this way and then at a Vintage Fair here in Leeds where they literally flew off the stall.

I realised that I potentially had a very sellable product and the possibility for a creative business. A business that could fit my 7 criteria. (See previous post!)

The pictures didn’t take up much storage space (crucial), they would be easy to post out to buyers in the UK and around the world and there was potential for creating ‘products’ from them.

More importantly I think they are gorgeous, quirky, help with my French vocab and perfectly chime with my love of a modern/vintage look. If I love them then others will too was my reasoning..


Next Post: Quick diversion into Social Responsibility – It’ll be short but sweet!


Changing the focus of a blog..

28 Apr


So, I started this blog when I started my vintage advertising art business, The Deco Press.  I’ve posted (fairly) regularly for a few months now. Had you noticed my posts have been pretty random in theme?

Well this is fine, but I’ve felt that I hadn’t quite found the purpose of my blog.

I knew I wanted to highlight the gorgeousness that is Art Deco and the beauty of vintage advertising but how to make this a long-running, interesting story I hadn’t quite worked out!

By just getting on and writing I felt that purpose would eventually come to me…and now it has..

I’m around 7 months in from launching The Deco Press and it’s been an exciting and challenging time. I started out with nothing more than the grain of an idea and have grown from there.

Partly for my benefit (as I’m not good at documenting milestones and achievements) and, I hope, for yours, I’m going to go back to the very start and show exactly what I’ve done and the steps I’ve taken to get this far…hopefully I won’t catch up with myself!

Next post: Why did I want to start up a business in the first place?

The Great Gatsby

9 Mar

Last night, I went to see Northern Ballet’s production of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic 1920s American novel. The simple yet seductive sets and staging, graceful energy of the dancing and beautiful, original score were enhanced further by the AMAZING 20’s style costumes!

I’m now on the lookout for a local dressmaker who can re-create some 20’s inspired drop-waist dresses, cute shirts and headbands for me…if you know of anyone, get in touch!

Channelling the look…One of my French 1920s Fashion magazine covers.



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