Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Méfiez-vous de la contrefaçon!"

post card cat head

I bought this in Paris in 2001. It lives on my fridge. It makes me laugh - it is everything modern advertising is not: paranoid, long-winded and complicated. The slogan, "Méfiez-vous de la contrefaçon!" you might translate it as "Accept no substitutes" if you wanted to be snappy, but it is more like, "Be suspicious of counterfeits!" It goes on to explain that other manufacturers are trying to fool the buyer into thinking they are buying cat (Le Chat) brand with various other animal heads! Like what, I wonder? What sort of animal can one mistake for a cat? So to make their brand more identifiable they have added an octogon (which they go on to explain has eight sides...) etc.

the original
all "Méfiez-vous de la contrefaçon!"
Méfiez-vous de la contrefaçon! (cream)
Méfiez-vous de la contrefaçon! (brown)
You can spot counterfeits by such subtle clues as inverted letters.

This is a block print in black and turquoise on Japanese feathered Obonai paper and on Indian khaki recycled paper. Some are embellished in pen and ink. Some have chine collé.

Strangely, block printing roman characters is much harder than Chinese characters! I almost forgot the cédille and then, there was the 'N'. The brain does not want me to invert letters.
In other news, I'm also watching a live broadcast from sea and texting with RM via Skype. Talk about multi-tasking.

GOOD NEWS: the old unplug it and plug it back in trick seems to have worked! But they want me to be available if they have questions.

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