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‘The Last Minute Posters’ by Vanessa Bell (1935)

The Post Early campaign was created to change the public habit of posting at the end of the day, this meant that the distribution of staff and collection and sorting and delivery processes could be spread throughout the day. The campaign ran until the 1960s, when mechanical sorting machines were introduced.

This poster by the Bloomsbury Group artist Vanessa Bell (1879-1961), entitled ‘The Last Minute Posters’ was intended to be a satirical depiction of the frustrations and inconvenience the public suffered when posting late. Bell was paid 50 guineas for her design, and it was approved by the Poster Advisory Group in 1935 (of which Clive Bell, Vanessa’s husband, was a member). The design went into printing in October 1935, but in June 1936 The Post Office’s Board decided not to issue prints, on the premise that the design did not convey the right message for the Post Early campaign.

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