Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Vintage Caran d’Ache Marketing Brochure


Brochure front cover

An item that was billed as a “vintage Caran d’Ache catalog” came up on eBay recently. Although the images looked more like a marketing brochure than a catalog, I was curious either way, so I put in a bid – and I was the sole bidder!

As I suspected, the “catalog” includes product information with product codes, but it’s a marketing brochure intended for consumers, not a wholesale catalog that might be more informative as a historical piece. Still, as a vintage Caran d’Ache collector, I’m happy to have the brochure, which is in excellent condition.

It’s a huge piece that barely fits on my scan bed, and every page spread includes a fold-out panel where the product details are. I’ve scanned everything here for your perusal.

Of course, from my perspective, the most interesting pages cover the colored pencils, which includes only Prismalo I (“regular lead thickness for detailed drawing and painting”) and Prismalo II (“thick, soft leads for covering a larger surface. Particularly recommended for children of pre-school age”). Based on my research and some speculation, I have deduced that Prismalo II eventually morphed into Supracolor II Soft. The brochure makes no mention of any Supracolor product, so it’s clear that the brochure dates to pre-1988 when Caran d’Ache introduced Supracolor (or at least the branding for a product called “Supracolor,” even if the pencils were the same as the former Prismalo II). In addition, Neopastel, which was introduced in 1985 (according to Atelier Caran d'Ache), is included, so the brochure must date between 1985 and 1988.

Unfortunately, there’s not much to be learned from the brochure, but it’s cool to see a piece that includes so much uncredited original artwork that was probably done by staff or freelancers. Based on the fairy tale-like art, Caran d’Ache’s audience seems much more focused on school kids than professional artists (back then, Museum Aquarelle, Luminance and other artist-grade products didn’t exist). A contemporary marketing brochure would more likely be dominated by sexy photography and maybe one or two art pieces made by an established, named artist who collaborates with the manufacturer on lots of co-marketing. I love the unsophisticated look of this old brochure.

This page is of the most interest to me. . . though not particularly informative.

Included with the brochure was the packing slip that came with it when it was shipped to Miss Virginia Hiller of Montvale, NJ, from Caran d'Ache's US agent in New York City. I wonder if Virginia was a Cd'A geek like me?

1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...