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In the brainstorming to give a visual identity to the French Language & Usage StackExchange, one of the proposals is to base the design on vintage posters such as this one:

“Chat Noir” vintage poster

But I am afraid that we are a strongly biased audience and would like to ask you whether this kind of graphics feels “Frenchy” to you. Do you associate this visual identity with France, French people, or the French language?

I understand that brainstorming and idea gathering are (understandbly!) off-topic here, so I hope this question passes muster.

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I do, but I went to art school. It is french, but it evokes a specific time period for me. – horatio Sep 13 '11 at 14:01
I concur: French and Art Deco, specifically. – Lauren Ipsum Sep 13 '11 at 14:44
@Lauren, I think that's more Nouveau than Deco. – DA01 Sep 13 '11 at 15:15
When you're storming the Brainstille, pitchforks in hand, such distinctions are of little consequence. At least nobody suggested a tumbril... :-D – Alan Gilbertson Sep 13 '11 at 22:55
I was riffing on the fact that spelling correction posts always have spelling errors. NP and thanks for the corrections – horatio Sep 14 '11 at 21:11
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The discussion on the FL&U meta shows the community strongly rejects the obvious symbols and has affinity for the antique, so if you were my client I'd probably lean in the direction of the late-19th Century lithograph look, like the one you show. There are great Lautrec lithographs that could provide inspiration, but it's that hand-drawn, quirky typography that sells the look. Pick the color palette from posters of the period, such as your example or this one:

enter image description here

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nitpick: I'd label that as lettering rather than typography given that it's hand rendered. ;) – DA01 Sep 14 '11 at 14:18
Bruno, my pet nit, is feeling picked on. Now I'll have to give him an extra bowl of comfort food. – Alan Gilbertson Sep 14 '11 at 17:09
@Alan I'm leaning towards this as well. – Jin Sep 17 '11 at 22:37

The romantic Paris most people think of is late 1800s/early 1900s, of which these posters are reflective of. Other artistic styles that can help convey “French” would be Impressionism and Art Nouveau.

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Perfect, it definitely looks Frenchy to me! (note that I'm not French :-))

P.S.: when I see that poster I almost hear Edith Piaf singing ...

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