Japanese / English

Past Exhibition

Printed Matters

Francis Bernard

Original Posters and Photostats

2009.4.9 - 5.8


Ⅰ. Posters

1. Nicolas fines bouteilles 144.2x226.3 cm
2. Gaz 118.8x158.2 cm
3. Croisière en Bretagne 62.8x100.4 cm
4. Arts Ménagers 1930 113x152 cm
5. Extension de Ciboure 104x157cm
6. Aeroshell pour moto 78.3x115.3 cm
7. Black et Decker 120.8x159.3 cm
8. Visitez le Maroc 62x100 cm
9. Exposition Tunisie 45 27.7x40 cm

Ⅱ. Photostats (65 works)

Ⅲ. Magazine「ACIER」


Born in Marseille, Francis Bernard attended classes at the local art school and a business school. Later he went to the Beaux-Arts in Paris.

In 1927, he signed a contract with Paul Martial Publishing ( a publishing house and an advertising company. It has been told that Bernard had his own studio in a large printing workshop that the company owned). In 1930, he was put in charge of creating a new look for the Salon des Arts Ménagers ( Home Crafts Show), a mission he would continue to perform until the 1950s.

In 1930, UAM* had been established and Bernard was invited to participate in the movement by René Herbst, one of the founders of UAM. Bernard intensively devoted his own creation until 1938. Taking turns, he and Cassandre designed the cover of ACIER and FERBLANC. (Bernard designed the logo of O.T.U.A., and it has also been said that he had taken part in the layout design as the art director, but there is no concrete proof on this matter). He also produced advertisements for the noted wine store Nicolas, along with Cassandre and Carlu. His advertisements were often published in magazines such as Arts et Métiers Graphique and Modern Publicity. He became head of French broadcasting corporation(radio and television) in 1945. Bernard continuously presented his works in AGI Congress In 1957, he was awarded a certificate of honor at Milan Triennial. Bernard didn’t have a flamboyant career like Cassandre, since he had dedicated himself to creating designs rather than trying to become a notable figure. His personal life is veiled in mystery. Even after Cassandre had given up hope in the drastically changing trend in the world of design, Bernard had flexibly adjusted to the trend and created approximately 1,000 posters. However, his prominent works were produced before the outbreak of the war. After the war, he devoted himself to working for RTF. Having a low profile (compared to Cassandre, Paul Colin or Jean Carlu), only a few posters remain up to the present day. The majority of the collection displayed in this exhibition was rescued when they were about to be discarded at the time of the closure of Paul Martial’s workshop. The Photostats* of his sketches are the only source of information about Francis Bernard’s existing posters. These posters and materials were created in the years between 1930 to1938.


*PHOTOSTAT - an early projection photocopier created in the early 1900s by the Commercial Camera Company. Its name, which was originally a trademark of the company, became genericized.

The Photostat machine was a prototype of “Xerox”, consisting of a large camera that photographed documents or papers, and exposed their image directly onto rolls of silver chloride photographic paper. These photographic copies could be produced infinitely as long as the original existed. It can be assumed that Bernard had only produced one or two copies of Photostat, considering that his intention was not to leave the original copy of the production.

Furthermore, the negative was set inside the machine and disposed of after the photocopying procedure was over. Because Photostats were gelatin silver prints, we are able to view the works in good state and quality regardless of the years they have come through.
Most of Francis Bernard’s sketches were B1 sized, so all of the sketches were preserved in PHOTOSTAT form except for special cases, and the originals were discarded.