Adventures in Deltiology

Do people still send postcards these days…?

Sherlock Holmes

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scan0029 scan0032My favourite finds this week are these eye-catching postcards advertising the Museum of London’s newest exhibition, Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived And Will Never Die.

The four postcards perfectly enhance their promo campaign and are, in themselves, a puzzle to be solved…. seeing these in a display rack there is no obvious connection between ‘the gentleman’, ‘the scientist’, ‘the Bohemian’ and ‘the master of disguise’ but the clues are all there: the Victorian pocket-watch, the opium haze and the pipe-smoker, the forensic detail of the bacteria, the barely perceptible deerstalker hat and the foggy view of Big Ben and the London skyline. All clues lead to only one man: Mr Holmes, I presume. This is one of the cleverest uses of multiple cards I’ve seen in a while; while one in isolation is interesting, the four as a whole tell a story and lead to a conclusion. It’s a masterful piece of advertising.

On the reverse all is revealed. As I’ve said many times on this blog that I am always happier when a postcard is a postcard ie. a card that can actually be posted, and there is ample space here for a message and address. The design is simple: there’s the Museum of London logo top left and the branding for the exhibition at the foot of the left side. I should also mention that tagline, which is genius in itself – the mythology and iconography of Holmes is such that many people genuinely believe he existed. Much of the Holmes-based tourism that draws the crowds today plays with the blurring of fact and fiction so it’s interesting to see a museum devote it’s time to a major exhibition based on a fictional character. They are setting out their stall straight away with that tagline though and confirming Holmes’ iconic status as a man of the past, present and future.

The exhibition runs from 17th October 2014 to 12th April 2015, and the dates are also included here alongside the sponsors logos and the official Twitter hashtag (#SherlockHolmes). I don’t think these postcards will be around for long, such is the demand for Holmes collectibles, so hunt them down while you can.

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