The Visual Cliche might be defined as a pictorial convention that we agree represents a given proposition. The Visual Cliche might be a picture that exactly reinforces an idiom.

At its best the cliche can mint a wholly fresh reality out of the banale. At its worst it is tedious and beneath contempt. It can be a shallow solution or it can be a subtle undermining of the viewer's anticipations. Cliches are there to be identified, challenged and used.Here is an idea of some basics using popular idioms.

A Restfoam January 1947; 02 Learstar June 1955; 03 Delco Radio November 1961; 04 Gilbert Papers October 1942;

B 01 Union Carbide, November 1955; 02 Shell, November 1955 ; 03 Atlantic Bond, October 1953; 04, First National City Bank, February 1969;

C 01 Eyrie Railroad May 1946; 02, McNally Pittsburgh, March 1946 ; 03 Dow, May 1950; 04, advertisement unknown, c1958;

D The personification of the Cliche , advertisement for Young and Rubicam January 1968

 

return to PRIMER OF ADVERTISING CLICHES (A BLOG OF 12.800 IMAGES)

 

ADVERTISING CLICHES a taxonomy of concepts (under construction)

 

 

 

VISUAL CLICHE SINGLES

I LOST MY HEAD, ARROW SHIRTS January 1952
THE DESERT ISLAND, VISUAL CONVENTION for Vodka
FRESH AS A ......
ROSE-TINTED? never (again)
ROSE-TINTED? without
AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME
SUNNY / RAINY WEATHER COTTAGE
A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK
WHO'S IN THE OWNER'S SEAT
SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET (CUPBOARD)
I LOST MY SHIRT
STICKS OUT LIKE A...
OLD HAT....
WHICH CAME FIRST - THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG NO 1 Advertising
WHICH CAME FIRST - THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG NO 2, Chemicals
TALKING TURKEY
BEGINNING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LADDER
BAD LUCK? Broken Mirror FORTUNE MARCH 1940
FAKIR ON BED OF NAILS GAG, JUNE 1964 (SEE EMMETT BENEATH)
THE STORK DELIVERING HIGHWAYS 1952
CAUGHT WITH HIS PANTS DOWN MARCH 1945
OSTRICH WITH HEAD IN SAND, NOVEMBER 1951
THE MISSING JIGSAW PIECE NOVEMBER 19051
PRODUCT LAYING AN EGG C 1949
SALAMI SLICES DEC 1931
THE MAGIC CARPET OF MODERN COMMERCE, DECEMBER 1939
MANAGEMENT WEIGHS ITSELF, DECEMBER 1958
MAKING A MONKEY OUT OF YOU JULY 1947
A DOLLAR GOES FURTHER THAN EVER OCTOBER 1952
BLUE CHIP COMPANIES, MCNALLY PITTSBURGH 1946
WIRING THAT WOULD MAKE A SPIDER JEALOUS
THE GINGERBREAD HOUSE, MONSANTO 1948
THERE ARE NO ENDS TO A BALL, DATE UNKNOWN
BUTCHER, BAKER, CANDLESTICK MAKER
PEAS IN A POD, KELVINATOR, DATE UNKNOWN
THE STORK AS CHILDBIRTH, Dextrose Sugar 1942
HELPS OIL TAKE A BEATING (anvil) Monsanto 1947
HEIGHT OF GOODNESS, WHEATIES 1946 (MAN ON STILTS)
MAKES LAWNS SIT UP AND SING 1955
OLD HAT 1944 (MCBEE)
THE STORY OF THE UNSPILT MILK 1945 (INSURANCE)
A MALIGNED WORD ('MALIGNED')
THE LATEST CLICHES, John Groth, Esquire, 1934

Bernard Partridge's illustrations to Stage-Land by Jerome K.Jerome 1889

A MALIGNED WORD ('MALIGNED')

 

 

NOW SEE THIS

THE PALACE OF CULTURE, BRITISH HUMOUR Roland Emmett, Punch 1951 is the most comprehensive guide to the visual conventions of British Humour that can be imagined. Only such an old hand at the business could have come up with a mapping that includes, the desert island, the fakir on his bed of nails, break in the ice - magnificent. Treat yourself

Cartoon and Caricature, I Meet Such People, Gurney Williams 1946, more cliches

 

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