Air France, founded in 1933 always had a close relation with North Africa. Morocco was a French Colony from 1912 until 1956, and Air France moved operations from France to Casablanca, Morocco during WWII. By 1948, when this poster was created, Air France operated 130 aircraft and was one of the largest fleets in the world. Air France wanted to show through their posters that they were flying to many places, even if they were remote and lesser known by the general public.
For Afrique du Nord (“North Africa”), the artist Bernard Villemot was most likely inspired by Casablanca and other Moroccan cities. The buildings are painted in white with some hints of pale pink and yellow. A tall minaret stands out in the middle of the image. The contrast between the soft blue background and the whites, yellows and pinks evokes the dessert at night time.
Bernard Villemot (1911-1989) was one of the foremost poster artists in the 1960’s and 1970’s, known for his innovative design and use of color. Born into a bourgeoisie family, his artistic pursuit was encouraged by his father, who was a well-known cartoonist. Villemont received training at the famous L’Ecole Paul, a school for poster artists founded and taught by famed poster artist Paul Colin. To many, he represents the end of the age when most of the poster designers are trained artists. As the world began to shift in the 1960s towards ad agencies and graphic design implemented by art departments, Villemot stood firm in his belief that the only way to advertise effectively “was to treat a poster as though it were a painting”. His distinctive style was commissioned by many prominent advertisers, most notably Orangina, Perrier, and Bally.
Please note that this is the smaller version of the design with a dimension of 12.5 inches by 20 inches.
This is an Original Vintage Poster; it is not a reproduction. This poster is conservation mounted, linen backed, and in excellent condition. We guarantee the authenticity of all of our posters.