Here are two oversized postcards with reproductions of Will Bradley’s posters advertising Victor Bicycles made by Overman Wheel Company. These are part of a series of “Art Nouveau and Turn-of-the Century Posters in miniature by Sandy Val, New York 10022.” My cards are somewhat discolored, because I originally had them taped to my walls.
Both bicycles and posters were big fads in the 1890s, and they both showed a reawakening of interest in the late 1960s. Will Bradley, who was one of the top graphic artists of the 1890s, designed these Victor Bicycle posters ca. 1895. Bradley’s graphic art was influenced both by Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts styles.
The second bicycle poster design shown above was also printed in Black and white.
Bradley was known for his typography as well as his illustration skills. The examples below show off some of his typography done for the Overman Wheel Co. 1899 catalog. These designs are nearly all composed of a simple type, but Bradley was also skilled in unifying decorative types with images.
The Overman Wheel Company was forced out of business after 1899 due to cheaper bicycles flooding the market. The American cycling boom was over by 1902, when bicycle sales were reduced to a quarter of their previous peak.
Visit Sepia Saturday 383 for more bicycle inspired posts.