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Kristof Van Gansen

Literature and Advertising in Arts et Métiers graphiques


The literary texts that opened every issue of Arts et métiers graphiques (1927-1939)
functioned as advertisements for the companies that produced the magazine – adver-
tising in the form of samples of new techniques, typefaces, or types of paper. The use
of a text by a famous author added cultural value to these samples. In that case, the
text’s literary function appears secondary to its advertising function. Nevertheless, the
editors also aspired to renew literary publishing, so that the book remained in tune
with innovations in typography and new media, and the lead articles demonstrated
how a text or a book could do so. For Arts et métiers graphiques, the two functions of the
articles de tête were not irreconcilable. To many editors, commerce and culture were
intimately connected. Moreover, both functions of the opening texts (advertising a
product and being best practices for literary publishing) were part of the central mis-
sion of Arts et métiers graphiques: the defence and illustration of the graphic arts, and
their constant improvement.

Chaque numéro d’Arts et métiers graphiques (1927-1939) s’ouvre sur un texte litté-
raire qui sert de publicité (sous forme d’échantillon de nouvelles techniques, polices de
caractères ou types de papier) pour les firmes associées à la revue. Les textes d’écrivains
renommés sont utilisés afin de donner un label de qualité littéraire aux exemples, ce
qui implique que la fonction littéraire de ces écrits est subordonnée à leur fonction
publicitaire. En même temps, la rédaction de la revue veut aussi renouveler l’édition
littéraire pour la mettre en phase avec les innovations dans la typographie et les nou-
veaux médias. Les articles de tête sont les démonstrations de ce projet. Pour Arts et
métiers graphiques, ces deux fonctions ne sont pas irréconciliables. Un certain nombre
de membres de la rédaction pensent en effet que publicité et culture sont intimement
liées. De plus, les visées publicitaires et littéraires (renouveler l’édition littéraire) des
articles de tête font partie intégrante du programme de la revue : la défense et illustra-
tion des arts graphiques.

To refer to this article:

Kristof Van Gansen, “Literature and Advertising in Arts et métiers graphiques”, dans
Interférences littéraires/Literaire interferenties, 18, “Circulations publicitaires de la
littérature”, Myriam Boucharenc, Laurence Guellec & David Martens (eds.), May
2016, pp. 123-145.
Comité de direction – Directiecomité
David Martens (KU Leuven & UCL) – Rédacteur en chef - Hoofdredacteur
Matthieu Sergier (UCL & Factultés Universitaires Saint-Louis), Laurence van Nuijs (FWO – KU Leuven), Guillaume
Willem (KU Leuven) – Secrétaires de rédaction - Redactiesecretarissen
Elke D’hoker (KU Leuven)
Lieven D’hulst (KU Leuven – Kortrijk)
Hubert Roland (FNRS – UCL)
Myriam Watthee-Delmotte (FNRS – UCL)

Conseil de rédaction – Redactieraad

Geneviève Fabry (UCL) Michel Lisse (FNRS – UCL)
Anke Gilleir (KU Leuven) Anneleen Masschelein (KU Leuven)
Agnès Guiderdoni (FNRS – UCL) Christophe Meurée (FNRS – UCL)
Ortwin de Graef (KU Leuven) Reine Meylaerts (KU Leuven)
Jan Herman (KU Leuven) Stéphanie Vanasten (FNRS – UCL)
Guido Latré (UCL) Bart Van den Bosche (KU Leuven)
Nadia Lie (KU Leuven) Marc van Vaeck (KU Leuven)

Comité scientifique – Wetenschappelijk comité

Olivier Ammour-Mayeur (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle -– Gillis Dorleijn (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen)
Paris III & Université Toulouse II – Le Mirail) Ute Heidmann (Université de Lausanne)
Ingo Berensmeyer (Universität Giessen) Klaus H. Kiefer (Ludwig Maxilimians Universität München)
Lars Bernaerts (Universiteit Gent & Vrije Universiteit Brussel) Michael Kolhauer (Université de Savoie)
Faith Binckes (Worcester College – Oxford) Isabelle Krzywkowski (Université Stendhal-Grenoble III)
Philiep Bossier (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen) Mathilde Labbé (Université Paris Sorbonne)
Franca Bruera (Università di Torino) Sofiane Laghouati (Musée Royal de Mariemont)
Àlvaro Ceballos Viro (Université de Liège) François Lecercle (Université Paris Sorbonne)
Christian Chelebourg (Université de Lorraine) Ilse Logie (Universiteit Gent)
Edoardo Costadura (Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena) Marc Maufort (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
Nicola Creighton (Queen’s University Belfast) Isabelle Meuret (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
William M. Decker (Oklahoma State University) Christina Morin (University of Limerick)
Ben de Bruyn (Maastricht University) Miguel Norbartubarri (Universiteit Antwerpen)
Dirk Delabastita (Université de Namur) Andréa Oberhuber (Université de Montréal)
Michel Delville (Université de Liège) Jan Oosterholt (Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg)
César Dominguez (Universidad de Santiago de Compostella Maïté Snauwaert (University of Alberta – Edmonton)
& King’s College)
Pieter Verstraeten ((Rijksuniversiteit Groningen)

Interférences littéraires / Literaire interferenties

KU Leuven – Faculteit Letteren
Blijde-Inkomststraat 21 – Bus 3331
B 3000 Leuven (Belgium)
Contact : matthieu.sergier@uclouvain.be & laurence.vannuijs@arts.kuleuven.be
Interférences littéraires/Literaire interferenties, 18, May 2016

Literature and advertising

in Arts et métiers graphiques1

Founded by a group of well-off professionals from the printing and pu-

blishing industry, the French graphic arts magazine Arts et métiers graphiques (Graphic
Arts and Crafts, 1927-1939) wanted to inform its readership about everything related
to graphic design and the art of the book through articles written by leading art cri-
tics, designers, art historians, and literary authors. All of these texts were presented
in a luxurious way. Through these contents and its material form, both of which
aspired to be of the highest quality, the magazine catered to bibliophiles, industry
professionals, and cultivated readers more generally. Simultaneously, the periodical
exemplified what modern quality design had to look like in an attempt to reinvigorate
French typography. Finally, it served to showcase the advanced products, services,
and skills of all the companies involved in its production. Cultural and commercial
aims, then, constantly intersected. The epitome of this were the lead articles (articles
de tête) opening every issue: texts written by famous literary authors or art critics that
were laid out in a special way. As the colophon of the magazine almost always listed
the persons and companies responsible for the creation of the opening texts, the
latter are advertisements in the form of printing samples, with the literary content
adding cultural value to the specimen. At the same time, the lead articles were also
literary texts that wanted to renew contemporary publishing by demonstrating how
books could remain in tune with modern graphic design and new media. By focu-
sing on the articles de tête, this paper explores the relation between advertising and
literature in Arts et métiers graphiques: far from being mutually exclusive, commerce
and culture were intimately related for the editors. More specifically, this article
wants to demonstrate how the apparently contradictory purposes or functions of
the opening texts were actually two sides of the same coin: the magazine’s defence
and illustration of the graphic arts.

1. The magazine Arts et métiers graphiques

Arts et métiers graphiques (AMG)2 was a French graphic arts periodical of which
68 issues appeared on a bimonthly basis between 1927 and 1939. It was created by
1.  The author is a member of MDRN, a research group studying Western European literature
of the period between 1900-1950, with a focus on its multiple functions, histories, and relations with
other media. The project is funded through an Orchestrated Research Action (GOA) awarded by
KU Leuven. The author is also part of the LITTéPUB group (Publicité littéraire et littérature publicitaire
de 1830 à nos jours), funded by the ANR (Agence nationale de la recherche).
2.  For more information on AMG, see Françoise Denoyelle, “Arts et Métiers Graphiques.
Histoire d’images d’une revue de caractère”, in: La Recherche photographique, 1987, 3, 7-17; Hélène
Dufour, “Arts et Métiers Graphiques 1927-1939”, in: Art & Métiers du livre, 1994, 188, 3-31; Amelia
Hugill-Fontanel, “Arts et Métiers Graphiques: The Graphic Design Magazine of the Deberny and
Peignot Type Foundry”, in: Printing History, 2006, 49, 20-41; Kristof Van Gansen, “‘Une page est
une image.’ Tekst als beeld in Arts et Métiers Graphiques”, in: TS. Tijdschrift voor tijdschriftstudies, 2014,

Literature and Advertising in Arts et métiers graphiques Kristof Van Gansen

Charles Peignot, artistic director of Deberny et Peignot, one of Paris’ leading type as a whole was in line with the editors’ definition of a worthwhile text – a definition
foundries at that time – possibly at the insistence of Lucien Vogel, an experienced strongly influenced by their bibliophilism: both the contents and the material and vi-
magazine publisher already known for the Gazette du bon ton, and who would create sual aspects of a publication had to be of the highest quality and in harmony.7
the famous photographically illustrated news weekly Vu in 1928.3 Together with a
group of important printers and publishers – H.-L. Motti, head of the Imprimerie
Vaugirard, where the majority of the magazine was printed; Léon Pichon, a printer,
type designer and publisher of art books; Walter Seymour Maas, an advertising agent
and head of the Dorland agency; and Vogel – Peignot had founded a public limited
company (société anonyme) called Arts et métiers graphiques Paris, that had “as its aim the
publication of a magazine entitled Arts et métiers graphiques, dedicated to the arts of
the book and of printing, and to all undertakings in publishing and advertising.”4
The general editors were Marcel Astruc (issues 2-3), François Haab (issues 4-41), and
André Lejard (issues 42-68), with publisher and typographer Henri Jonquières being
credited as the layout designer from issue 45 (1935) onwards. As an advertising leaflet
for the magazine included with the first issues indicates, Peignot aspired to turn his
magazine into the most complete publication on the graphic arts, which, moreover,
had literary value.5 To that end, many famous literary authors, art critics, book his-
torians, designers, printers etc. would provide essays as well as encyclopaedic articles
on everything related to graphic design: the (bibliophile) book, new and old printing
techniques, type design, the advertising poster and promotional leaflets, photography,
but also gramophone records, orange wrappers, animated film, and champagne labels.
The magazine’s creators not only aspired to make an encyclopaedia on print-
ing and design, they also, being industry professionals, wanted AMG to be a monu-
ment of modern quality typography – and this in a time when the press and the
publishing industry underwent dramatic changes due to the rise of photographi-
cally illustrated periodicals with massive print runs – Vu being a noteworthy example
– as well as a growing number of cheap, illustrated books and new media such as
radio and cinema.6 Indeed, AMG was a luxurious publication. Measuring 31 × 24.5
cm and usually about 70 to 80 pages in length, it was printed on different types of
special paper, its designers made use of multiple typefaces and various figurative lay-
outs, and the articles were copiously illustrated – also with photographs and colour
images – by means of the newest printing techniques. Each issue contained numerous
offset images with additional illustrations of new printing techniques, excerpts from
bibliophile books, reproductions of advertisements, and so on. As such, the magazine
35, 5-21; Kristof Van Gansen (ed.), Arts et métiers graphiques. Kunst en grafische vormgeving in het
interbellum, Leuven, Peeters, 2015. 
3.  Jean-Luc Froissart, L’or, lâme et le cendre du plomb. L’épopée des Peignot, 1815-1983. Paris,
Tekhnê, 2004, 301-302; Sophie Kurkdjian, Lucien Vogel et Michel de Brunhoff, parcours croisés de deux Fig. 1 - Advertising leaflet for the magazine
éditeurs de presse illustrée au XXe siècle, Institut Universitaire Varenne, 2014, 356-357. On Vu, in addition
to Kurkdjian’s book, see Cedric de Veigy and Michel Frizot (eds.), VU: The Story of a magazine, Lon-
don, Thames & Hudson, 2009; Danielle Leenaerts, Petite histoire du magazine Vu (1928-1940). Entre
photographie d’information et photographie d’art, Brussels, Peter Lang, 2010. Through this high care to both content and form, the editors sought to please
4.  Alain Fleig, Étant donné l’âge de la lumière II. Naissance de la photographie comme média en France their readership, consisting of graphic artists, industry professionals, advertising
dans les années trente, Neuchâtel, Ides et Calendes, 1997, 237; Arts et Métiers Graphiques Paris. Statuts,
Paris, Imprimerie du Palais, 1926, 3: “l’exploitation d’une revue intitulée Arts et Métiers Graphiques, agents, and bibliophiles, as well as men of letters in general.8 Most of these readers,
consacrée aux arts du Livre et de l’Imprimerie et toutes entreprises d’édition et de publicité.” All a third of which were from abroad, were subscribed to the magazine, yet the issues
translations from French are mine, unless noted otherwise.
5.  This advertising leaflet was included with the first issue and reprinted at the end of the
second issue. 7.  Jean Bruller, “Le livre d’art en France. Essai d’un classement rationnel”, in: AMG, 1931,
6.  Catherine Bertho, “Les concurrences”, in: Roger Chartier and Henri-Jean Martin (eds.), 26, 41-62 (46-47).
Histoire de l’édition française. Tome IV. Le livre concurrencé 1900-1950, Paris, Fayard, 1991, 13-27 (14); 8.  Françoise Denoyelle, “Arts et Métiers graphiques”, 17; Hélène Dufour, “Arts et Métiers Gra-
Pascal Fouché, “L’édition littéraire, 1914-1950” in: Chartier and Martin, 210-268 (220-222). phiques 1927-1939”, 6.

124 125
Literature and Advertising in Arts et métiers graphiques Kristof Van Gansen

were also sold separately.9 Other than most bibliophile publications, the magazine tions, all the while steering clear of the excesses of the avant-gardes and trying to
itself did not mention its print run, but in a letter to his sister Collete Peignot, preserve the worthwhile elements of the (national) printing tradition.15 AMG had
Charles Peignot spoke of 3000 copies, and critics state that around 3000 to 4000 to be a way-bearer in this renewal project: it was an example for other designers and
copies of every issue were printed.10 The price for a single issue was initially 30 informed them on the latest innovations, as well as on the achievements of classic
francs for France and Belgium and 40 francs for readers abroad, but increasing printers and type designers.
production costs (perhaps due to the 1936 electoral victory of the Front populaire AMG as a whole, then, was a showcase of advanced printing techniques. The
and their demand for higher wages for workers, including printers) led the editors importance of the material dimensions was further stressed by a full-page colophon
to increase the price to 35 francs (and 45 francs for international readers) from (achevé d’imprimer) at the beginning of each issue, listing, in sufficient detail, the dif-
issue 55 (August 1936) onwards. At the same time, the magazine was no longer ferent materials and printing processes used for the different parts of the magazine,
published six times a year (every two months), but only five times, although the as well as the companies responsible for their creation – technical information that
publication rhythm remained more or less regular, with a new issue still appearing would prove of interest to printing professionals and bibliophiles. A colophon was
on the fifteenth of the month (except for issues 55, 56, 60, 61, and 66, which were usually to be found near the final pages of a publication (often with fewer details),
released on the first, but this was announced in the magazine’s colophon). The but in AMG, it was one of the first things a reader would lay his eyes on. In addi-
editors justified this increase in price and decrease in production by writing that tion to this colophon, the final pages of most issues contained further technical
it was necessary if they wanted to continue publishing a magazine of the highest and historical details on the different papers used. This highlighting of companies
material quality.11 From issue 60 (November 1937) onwards, the price per issue and products suggests that the magazine, besides for informing and educating its
increased a second time to 45 francs and to 55 francs for readers abroad. For readers on the graphic arts, was used to advertise the products and services of the
subscribers, the price per issue was lower, with subscriptions initially costing 150 companies that created it.16 As such, the magazine served as a specimen book of
francs per year, but coming to cost 200 francs in November 1937. Subscription fine printing techniques. The reader could read quality content on the graphic arts,
fees for international readers varied between 200 and 240 francs. As a service to but at the same time saw and felt samples of innovative design and techniques on
the international readers, some issues contained English summaries or transla- exclusive papers. Thanks to the elaborate colophon, he could easily learn where to
tions of the content. turn for printed matter of the highest quality.
The luxurious material form of AMG mentioned above did not just serve However, considering AMG nothing but advertising-through-samples
to appeal to an audience appreciating well-crafted printed matter. The magazine as would do no justice to the magazine’s content. The advertising leaflet for the
a whole was a demonstration of what modern quality printing had to look like, in magazine specifically pointed at its literary value (even listing it as the first selling
an attempt to renew or reinvigorate French typography. Design historians indicate point), which was to be ensured through the collaboration of famous authors
that French graphic design was lagging behind compared to the innovations of for and art critics. Many authors in that period were so-called polygraphs, earning
instance German and Eastern European avant-garde typographers with their “New a living by writing texts for newspapers, magazines and other publications, texts
Typography” and their frequent use of modern sans serif typefaces.12 French typo- that can be considered part of their literary oeuvre.17 Additionally, texts by art
graphers preferred to follow their own path, sticking to a well-established national critics were often also considered literary texts.18 Moreover, Deberny et Peignot
tradition or choosing to “[reinvent] the design tradition” instead of revolutionizing already had a periodical publication that served a commercial purpose: Les diver-
it, like their Central-European counterparts did.13 Charles Peignot and the creators tissements typographiques (Typographic Distractions), volumes with printing samples
of AMG did want to create a modern and properly French typography, and (in a demonstrating different uses of the foundry’s typefaces.19 They were created by
move that might be typical for French “tempered” modernism in the period of the famous typographer Maximilien Vox (pseudonym of Samuel Monod, known
retour à l’ordre more generally14) curiously searched across the borders for innova- for his covers for Grasset, for designing the logo of the detective novel series “Le
9.  Hélène Dufour, “Arts et Métiers Graphiques 1927-1939”, 6.
masque”, and conceiving a typographic standard for the SNCF) and were widely
10.  Élisabeth Barillé, Laure. La sainte de l’abîme. Paris, Flammarion, 1997, 159; Françoise distributed among other printers and designers. AMG, then, was more than a
Denoyelle, “Arts et Métiers graphiques”, 17; Hélène Dufour, “Arts et Métiers Graphiques 1927-1939”,
6; Amelia Hugill-Fontanel, “Arts et Métiers Graphiques”, 27. Myriam Boucharenc and Claude Leroy (eds.), L’année 1925. L’esprit d’une époque, Paris, PUPS, 2012,
107-117. See also Jean Cocteau, Le rappel à l’ordre, Paris, Stock, 1926.
11.  Cf. a letter to the readers included in the beginning of AMG 54, 1936.
15.  Alain Fleig, Naissance de la photographie, 238; Michel Wlassikoff, Histoire du graphisme en
12.  Michel Wlassikoff, Histoire du graphisme en France, 68-75; Roxane Jubert, “The Bauhaus France, 71. On the reception of New Typography in AMG, see Kristof Van Gansen, “‘Bold Ger-
Context: Typography and Graphic Design in France” Translated by John Cullars, in: Design Issues, man graphic design’: Arts et métiers graphiques and New Typography”, in: Invisible Culture: An Electronic
2006, 22, 4, 66-80. Journal for Visual Culture, 2015, 23, [online], <http://ivc.lib.rochester.edu/newtypography/>.
13.  Michel Wlassikoff, Histoire du graphisme en France, Paris, Les Arts décoratifs, 2008, 68; 16.  Françoise Denoyelle, “Arts et Métiers graphiques”, 8
Roxane Jubert, “The Bauhaus Context”, 73.
17.  See Michèle Touret, Histoire de la littérature française du XXe siècle. Tome I. 1898-1940,
14.  For “tempered modernism”, see Dominique Baqué, Les documents de la modernité. Antho- Rennes, PUR, 2000, 11, 33-44.
logie de textes sur la photographie de 1919 à 1939, Nîmes, Jacqueline Chambon, 1993, 17, 375, 414-416.
For the retour à l’ordre and related, see Annick Lantenois, “Analyse critique d’une formule « retour 18.  Christine Peltre, “Peinture et écriture au XIXe siècle”, in: Patrick Berthier & Michel
à l’ordre »”, in: Vingtième Siècle. Revue d’histoire, 1998, 45, 40-53; Jan Baetens and Ben De Bruijn, Jarrety (eds.), Histoire de la France littéraire. Modernités. XIXe – XXe siècle, Paris, PUF, 2006, 539-544.
“Éloge de la canonisation”, in: Fabula-LhT, 2014, 12, [online], <http://www.fabula.org/lht/12/ 19.  Michel Wlassikoff, Histoire du graphisme en France, 71; Maximilien Vox, “Charles Peignot
mdrn.html>; Michel Collomb, “Le style Art déco en littérature : grand art ou décoration ?”, in: et son temps”, in: Communication et langages, 1972, 14, 45-61 (50).

126 127
Literature and Advertising in Arts et métiers graphiques Kristof Van Gansen

volume of samples made to sell products. In the magazine, commerce and culture literature dedicated to promoting a product “applied literature”,24 a notion that
were always simultaneously present; they were not mutually exclusive but in fact can be considered parallel to Dominique Baqué’s understanding of “applied
intimately intertwined. photography”. In the French photography of the interwar period, many aesthe-
tic innovations (of the Nouvelle Vision in particular) quickly found their way
into advertising photography (which, in turn, became an important support and
2. Articles de tête: advertisements?
means of diffusion for the Nouvelle Vision), and Baqué observes that “this applied
The place where the magazine’s cultural and commercial intentions most photography that is advertising photography differs in nothing from the moder-
overtly co-occurred were the lead articles or articles de tête published at the begin- nist photography that is shown in galleries or published in art periodicals. One
ning of almost every regular issue, immediately following the table of contents sees the same formal procedures, the same representational subjects, and often
and the colophon. The articles de tête were essays, poems, short prose pieces, or also the same photographers. There is no distinction, no pejoration.”25 A clear
fragments of a play, written by famous contemporary or classical literary authors example of this are the rayograms Man Ray made for Électricité, an album that was
or art critics. They were, on average, 4 to 8 pages in length, printed on a different published by the Compagnie parisienne de distribution d’électricité (Parisian company for
type of paper than the coated paper employed for the majority of the magazine the distribution of electricity) in 1931 – some of these images were reproduced
and always laid out in a special way by the magazine’s designers, with the colo- in the 24th issue of AMG: creations that differed little from his so-called “au-
phon clearly listing everything and everyone involved. Some texts looked like tonomous” work. Similarly, writers produced both “literary” and “advertising”
excerpts from traditional bibliophile volumes, while others had a more daring texts, often drawing on the same writing styles. Literature published in maga-
experimental typography, resembling posters, leaflets or catalogues rather than zines, volumes of poetry or novels on the one hand and applied or advertising
pages from the printed books to which the readers were accustomed. In any case, literature on the other, however, seem to have been treated less as equals: writing
all of these aspects, from their place of honour in the beginning of the issue to for companies was (and still is) a practice often denounced by other authors.26
their often surprising layout, made these literary texts stand out from the other Moreover, these commissioned texts have been largely overlooked by literary his-
articles. As a list of all the articles de tête included below shows, some of the texts toriography and are not often studied as literary texts in their own specific way.
first appeared in AMG, and were or were not reprinted elsewhere later on. Other They are mostly seen as marginalia, or as documents casting another light on the
lead articles consisted of fragments from either classical or recently published cultural dynamics of the period, and if such writings are included in the collected
works. The latter cases contradict the advertising leaflet, which explicitly spoke works of an author or in anthologies, their commercial origins are left out of the
of “un article inédit”, an article not published before. In fact, the very first lead picture.27
article, an essay by Paul Valéry entitled “Les deux vertus d’un livre” (“The Two The texts in AMG, however, were different from the applied literature as
Virtues of a Book”),20 had already appeared in a booklet by Maastricht-based discussed above. The contents of these texts did not explicitly praise a type foun-
publisher Stols and in a French illustrated news weekly prior to its publication in dry, nor did they try to convince readers to entrust their work to this or that prin-
AMG.21 ting office, which is the case in writing on sparkling water or a fashion brand.28
Could it be, then, that the literary texts opening the issues were used to Perhaps the lead articles were more akin to the exclusive and luxuriously crafted
advertise products, just like the rest of the magazine? Texts by literary authors albums published by certain companies and offered to a select audience (often a
featuring in or as advertisements for products are not that uncommon, think of wealthy clientele, such as doctors):29 they were a gift by Deberny et Peignot to the
for instance Paul Valéry and Colette writing texts for Perrier, or, more recently, readers of AMG, bibliophiles that would appreciate such quality texts. Regarding
Fay Weldon’s product placement in The Bulgari Connection.22 For many authors, these bibliophile volumes, Boucharenc observes that for the authors themselves
this commissioned writing was another way of making a living,23 as well as of (many of whom received high fees for their writing) they constituted a form
increasing their visibility. Following Myriam Boucharenc, one could term such of advertising for their work – in line with the practice of prepublication and
24.  Myriam Boucharenc, “Publicité sous influence”, 141.
20.  Paul Valéry, “Les deux vertus d’un livre”, in: AMG, 1927, 1, 3-8.
25.  Dominique Baqué, Les documents de la modernité, 335, 355: “[C]ette photographie appliquée
21.  Paul Valéry, Œuvres, tome II, édition établie et annotée par Jean Hytier, Paris, Gallimard, qu’est la photographie publicitaire ne diffère en rien de la photographie moderniste qui s’expose
1960, 1568.  dans les galeries ou se publie dans les revues d’art. Il s’agit bien des mêmes procédés formels, des
22.  The ANR LITTéPUB studies the interactions between literature and advertising from mêmes contenus de représentation, souvent aussi, des mêmes photographes. Aucun clivage, aucune
1830 up to today. On literature and advertising, see for instance Laurence Guellec and Françoise péjoration, non plus.”
Hache-Bissette (eds.), Littérature et publicité. De Balzac à Beigbeder, Marseille, Gaussen, 2012; Myriam 26.  See Valérie Sacriste, “Hommes de lettres et publicité: histoire sociale d’une résistance
Boucharenc, “Publicité sous influence ou du document comme littérature”, in: Sarah Bonciarelli, culturelle”, in: Guellec and Hache-Bissette, 251-262.
Anne Reverseau and Carmen Van den Bergh (eds.), Littérature et document autour de 1930. Hétérogénéité et
hybridation générique, Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2013, 129-141; Myriam Boucharenc, ”La 27.  Myriam Boucharenc, “Publicité sous influence”, 140-141; Laurence Guellec, “Le com-
pastille” and “La bouteille de Perrier”, in: Nadja Cohen and Anne Reverseau (eds.), Petit musée d’histoire merce de la science”, 356-357.
littéraire 1900-1950, Bruxelles, Les Impressions Nouvelles, 2015, 19-23, 190-195. 28.  According to Jean-Michel Adam and Marc Bonhomme, the rhetoric of advertising is a
23.  See Laurence Guellec, “Le commerce de la science: poésie scientifique et rhétorique combination of praising a product and persuading the potential customer to purchase said product;
publicitaire”, in: Muriel Louâpre, Hugues Marchal et Michel Pierssens (eds.), La Poésie scientifique, “éloge” and “persuasion”. Jean-Michel Adam et Marc Bonhomme (eds.), L’argumentation publicitaire.
de la gloire au déclin, Épistémocritique, 2014, 339-359 (355), [online], < http://www.epistemocritique. Rhétorique de l’éloge et de la persuasion, Paris, Armand Colin, 2007, 89-108.
org/IMG/pdf/17_GUELLEC.pdf>. 29.  Myriam Boucharenc, “Publicité sous influence”, 133-134, 136.

128 129
Literature and Advertising in Arts et métiers graphiques Kristof Van Gansen

including “bonnes feuilles” in periodicals.30 The lead articles may have served a Henri Massis, “Souvenirs sur Anatole France, illustré de dessins d’Anatole
similar purpose for the writers confiding their texts to AMG. At the same time, France”, in: AMG, 1929, 10, 587-594. Contemporary author. Origin and
afterlife of text unknown; originally written for AMG?
the articles de tête were samples showcasing (and advertising) the products and
services of the firms that created the magazine, as the colophon almost always Pierre Mac Orlan, “Graphismes”, in: AMG, 1929, 11, 645-652. Contem-
porary author. The text first appeared in AMG and was later re-used, in
listed the names of the companies, the designers, and the processes involved in a slightly modified version, as the conclusion to Mac Orlan’s Le Printemps
their creation. In what follows, I present a list of all articles de tête and their au- (Gallimard, 1930), an essay on the department store with the same name,
thors, indicating, where possible, whether the text did first appear in AMG or had published at Gallimard in the collection “Les rois du jour”, supervised by
already appeared elsewhere. After that, I will turn to a more detailed analysis of André Beucler.
some representative examples, so as to present an overview of the different types Joseph Bédier, “Une scène de chanson de geste”, in: AMG, 1929, 12, 701-
708. Contemporary author. Origin and afterlife of text unknown; originally
of products, services, and companies for which the articles were advertisements. written for AMG?
Paul Valéry, “Les deux vertus d’un livre”, in: AMG, 1927, 1, 3-8. Contem- Jean Gallotti, “Destinées du Livre. (Illustrations de Hermann Paul)”, in:
porary author. Reprint of an existing text. Appeared in Notes sur le livre et le AMG, 1929, 13, 757-764. Contemporary author. Origin and afterlife of
manuscrit (Maastricht, Stols, 1926, coll. “Les livrets de bibliophilie”) and in text unknown; originally written for AMG?
the news weekly L’Illustration (September 10, 1927) before its publication André Salmon, “Bibliothèques d’écrivains”, in: AMG, 1929, 14, 815-822.
in AMG.31 Contemporary author. Origin and afterlife of text unknown; originally
Valéry Larbaud, “Lettre aux imprimeurs”, in: AMG, 1927, 2, 69-76. Con- written for AMG?
temporary author. Text first appeared in AMG. The text is based on cor- Fernand Fleuret, “Parade des caractères”, in: AMG, 1930, 15, 873-880.
respondence between Larbaud and Bertrand Guégan, who frequently con- Contemporary author. Origin and afterlife of text unknown; originally
tributed to AMG as a book historian and reviewer of bibliophile editions.32 written for AMG?
André Suarès, “Art du livre”, in: AMG, 1928, 3, 135-142. Contemporary André Rouveyre, “Le culte de Guillaume Apollinaire”, in: AMG, 1930, 17,
author. Possibly (a) fragment(s) of a booklet of which 37 copies were pub- 1-8. Contemporary author. Origin and afterlife of text unknown; originally
lished by typographer Louis Jou in 1928, although the colophon in AMG written for AMG?
states that the ornaments were made by the illustrator Carlègle and the text Régis Gignoux, “Souvenirs sur Charles-Louis Philippe”, in: AMG, 1930,
was printed by the Kadar printing office, without referring to Jou.33 18, 991-998. Contemporary author. Origin and afterlife of text unknown;
André Thérive, “Louange des affiches”, in: AMG, 1928, 4, 205-208. Con- originally written for AMG?
temporary author. Origin and afterlife of text unknown; originally written Pierre Louÿs, “L’Auteur des XV joyes de mariage (inédit). Bandeau dessiné
for AMG? par Tchimoukov”, in: AMG, 1930, 19, 1-8. Older author, deceased in 1925.
Henri de Régnier, “Souvenirs d’un autre temps. Avec ornements de Paul The “inédit” (“not published before”) in the table of contents and in the
Véra”, in: AMG, 1928, 5, 269-276. Contemporary author. Origin and after- colophon signifies that the text first appeared in AMG.
life of text unknown, originally written for AMG? Jacques de Lacretelle, “Sur un exemplaire de Chateaubriand”, in: AMG,
Edmond Jaloux, “Les contes de fées”, in: AMG, 1928, 6, 337-344. Con- 1930, 20, 61-64. Contemporary author. Origin and afterlife of text un-
temporary author. Origin and afterlife of text unknown; originally written known; originally written for AMG?
for AMG? Aristophane, “‘La Paix’ (Essai de mise en pages du dialogue)”, in: AMG,
Jean Cocteau, “Éloge de l’imprimerie. (Poème illustré de dessins en 1931, 21, 115-118. Reprint of a classical text.
couleurs par Charles Martin)”, in: AMG, 1928, 7, 405-412. Contempo- Charles Baudelaire, “Correspondances (Essai de mise en pages des vers)”, in:
rary author. Fragment of a luxurious advertising booklet published by the AMG, 1931, 22, 171. Reprint of a classical text.
Draeger printing office under the title Soignez la gloire de votre firme, as the Vincent Muselli, “Strophes de Contre-Fortune (Autre essai de mise en pages)”,
colophon also signals.34 in: AMG, 1931, 22, 173. Contemporary author. First published in AMG.
Lucien Descaves, “Erckmann-Chatrian et leurs illustrateurs. (Dessins de The colophon states that these poems were “inédits” and that they were
Libis)”, in: AMG, 1928, 8, 467-474. Contemporary author. Origin and af- to appear in a volume of poetry entitled Les strophes de contre-fortune at J.-E.
terlife of text unknown; originally written for AMG? Pouterman.
André Billy, “Typographie de l’avenir”, in: AMG, 1929, 9, 527-534. Con- Stanley Morisson [sic], “Non stop”, in: AMG, 1931, 23, 225-230. Contem-
temporary author. Origin and afterlife of text unknown; originally written porary author. The final page of the article states that it is an extract of
for AMG? unpublished notes by typographer Stanley Morison, which probably means
that the text originally appeared in AMG.
30.  Ibid., 136.
Paul Léautaud, “Propos”, in: AMG, 1931, 24, 283-290. Contemporary au-
thor. The text was later included in Propos d’un jour (A Day’s Remark, 1947),
31.  Paul Valéry, Œuvres, tome II, 1568. a collection of short writings by Léautaud featuring pieces he wrote for
32.  Valéry Larbaud, Journal, Texte établi, préfacé et annoté par Paule Moron, Paris, Gallimard, magazines such as the Nouvelle Revue française, the Mercure de France, Vendémi-
2009, 1038.
aire, La Chronique filmée, Voilà, and Arts et Idées.35 AMG is not mentioned in
33.  “Louis Jou”, [online], < http://www.fondationlouisjou.org/LouisJou.html>.
that book, but it could be that “Propos” was first published there.
34.  Jean Cocteau, Œuvres poétiques complètes, Édition publiée sous la direction de Michel
Décaudin, avec la collaboration de Monique Bourdin, Pierre Caizergues, David Gullentops et
Léon Somville, Paris, Gallimard, 1999, 1709. 35.  Paul Léautaud, Propos d’un jour, Paris, Mercure de France, 1947, 93.

130 131
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Adrienne Monnier, “Éloge du livre pauvre”, in: AMG, 1931, 25, 345-348. poetry were not translated in French during his lifetime, but translations
Contemporary author. Text first published in AMG; later included in Rue de of individual poems appeared in magazines and anthologies. In line with
l’Odéon (1960), which states that the essay had already appeared in AMG.36 this, Doderet planned to translate Alcyone after World War I, but then aban-
Pierre Drieu la Rochelle, “Tableaux à la plume”, in: AMG, 1932, 27, doned the project, instead publishing fragments in periodicals.41 The trans-
1-8. Contemporary author. Origin and afterlife of text unknown; originally lated poem in AMG is probably one of these fragments, but it is not sure
written for AMG? whether it first appeared there or elsewhere.
Goethe, “Paroles sur les Français”, in: AMG, 1932, 28, 5-6. Classical au- Léon-Paul Fargue, “Marées”, in: AMG, 1934, 40, 5-8. Contemporary au-
thor. The article itself states that it is an extract from a conversation with thor. Reprint of a recent publication. The colophon states that it is a frag-
Eckermann that took place on March 6, 1830. In fact, it is an adapted and ment from D’après Paris (Gallimard, 1931).
translated fragment of Eckermann’s relation of a conversation Goethe had Édouard Dolléans, “Le graphisme du son”, in: AMG, 1934, 41. Contem-
with Friedrich Soret on the 14th of March of that year.37 porary author. Origin and afterlife of text unknown; originally written for
Charles Baudelaire, “L’étranger (Essai de mise en page)”, in: AMG, 1932, AMG?
29, 5. Reprint of a classical text. Bertrand Guégan, “La chanson des Imprimeurs au XVIe siècle (recueillie
Luc Durtain, “L’art et la Paix”, in: AMG, 1932, 30, 5-8. Contemporary par)”, in: AMG, 1934, 43, 5-8. A reprint of a song that Guégan, as he states
author. Origin and afterlife of text unknown; originally written for AMG? in the article, had found in a sixteenth-century volume.
“Relation des avantures et voyages de Mathieu Sâgean, publiée par Ber- “Alphabets romantiques”, in: AMG, 1934, 44, 5-8. Collage of different deco-
trand Guégan”, in: AMG, 1932, 32, 5-10. In the article, Guégan writes that rative typefaces from the romantic period.
the text is an unpublished document found in a folder with 17th-century Léon-Paul Fargue, “Salut à la publicité”, in: AMG, 1935, 45, 5-8. Contem-
documents. However, a book with the same title was published in New porary author. Text first published in AMG. A text with the same title ap-
York in 1863.38 peared in the April 1935 issue of the periodical Vendre.
Francis de Miomandre, “D’un texte pur”, in: AMG, 1933, 33, 5-8. Con- “Deux ballades bretonnes vers le XIIe siècle”, in: AMG, 1935, 46, 5-8. Re-
temporary author. Origin and afterlife of text unknown; originally written print of an existing text, although the magazine does not list an author, nor
for AMG? a source for these ballads. Both ballads, “Merlin au berceau” and “Le Tribut
Jacques de Lacretelle, “Éternité de l’architecture”, in: AMG, 1933, 34, p. de Noménoë”, were included in Barzaz Breiz (1839), an anthology of Breton
5-6. Contemporary author. Origin and afterlife of text unknown; originally folk songs compiled by Théodore Hersart de La Villemarqué.
written for AMG? Edgar Poe, “Ulalume (traduction de Stéphane Mallarmé)”, in: AMG, 1935,
Montaigne, “Deux lettres à Henri IV”, in: AMG, 1933, 35, 5-8. Classical 48, 5-8. Classical author. Reprint of an existing text. Mallarmé’s transla-
author. The article says that book historian Bertrand Guégan has made tion of the poem appeared in his 1888 Poèmes d’Edgar Poe. The colophon
this edition of a handwritten letter by Montaigne. At the end of the issue, refers to the Éditions de la Nouvelle Revue française, where Mallarmés
there is an article by Guégan on Montaigne’s letters. This article de tête was translations of Poe’s poems were republished in 1928,42 as the source for
perhaps included as an introduction to his essay.39 the poem.
“Des vers inconnus de Ronsard”, in: AMG, 1933, 37, 5. Classical author. “Quatre lettres de M. de Voltaire”, in: AMG, 1935, 49, 5-8. Classical au-
An allegedly forgotten sonnet. Guégan wrote that he found the sonnet in thor. Text first appeared in AMG. Not genuine letters by Voltaire, but
the preface of Œuvres morales by Jean des Caurres (c. 1583) and that it had forgeries by Maximilien Vox.
not been included in Ronsard’s complete works. The sonnet had, how- “Hymne de l’Imprimerie au Roi (1626)”, in: AMG, 1935, 50, 5-8. Reprint
ever, already been published in Œuvres inédites de P. De Ronsard. Gentil-homme of a text written by poet Guillaume Colletet found by Bertrand Guégan in
Vandomois. Recueillies et publiées par Prosper Blanchemain, Paris, Auguste Aubry, a 17th-century book.43
Libraire, Rue Dauphine, n° 16, 1804. This book too points to Des Caurres’ Louis Chéronnet, “À propos du “Narcisse” de Paul Valéry, illustré par
work. The 1958 Gallimard Oeuvres completes lists the sonnet in the section Laure Albin-Guillot.”, in: AMG, 1936, 51, 5-8. Contemporary author. Re-
“Pièces hors recueils”40, also referring to Des Caurres. Nevertheless, the view of a luxury edition of Valéry’s Narcisse illustrated with photographs by
sonnet may still have been largely unknown to the public by the time of its Laure Albin-Guillot (Paris, Imprimerie de M. Darantière, 1936), including a
publication in AMG. full-page photograph and a poem taken from said book. Origin and after-
Sophocle, “Fragment d’Antigone. Essai de mise en page par Cassandre”, life of the review unknown; probably an original text for AMG.
in: AMG, 1933, 38, 5-12. Reprint of a classical text. Paul Éluard, “Le front couvert, poème”, in: AMG, 1936, 52, 5-8. Contem-
Gabriele d’Annunzio, “La sera fiesolana. Traduction André Doderet”, in: porary author. Text first appeared in AMG. The poem was then included in
AMG, 1934, 39, 5-8. Contemporary author. The poem had already ap- Les yeux fertiles, which appeared in the same year at Guy Lévis Mano’s Édi-
peared, in Italian, in the volume Alcyone (1903). D’Annunzio’s volumes of tions G.L.M.44 Lévis Mano also designed the layout of the poem in AMG.

36.  Adrienne Monnier, Rue de l’Odéon, Paris, Albin Michel, 1960, 281. 41.  Muriel Gallot, « D’Annunzio et son traducteur : à la recherche d’un alter ego », Cahiers
37.  Johann Peter Eckermann, Gespräche mit Goethe in den letzten Jahren seines Lebens, Frankfurt d’études romanes, 2011, 24, [online], <etudesromanes.revues.org/1077>; Giovanni Gullace, Gabriele
am Main, Insel Verlag, 1987, 673-682; 865. D’Annunzio in France. A Study in Cultural Relations, Syracuse, NY, Syracuse UP, 1966, 128.
38.  Extrait de la relation des avantures et voyages de Mathieu Sâgean, Nouvelle York, À la presse 42.  Stéphane Mallarmé, Œuvres complètes, Texte établi et annoté par Henri Mondor et G.
Cramoisy de J.M. Shea, 1863. Jean-Aubry, Paris, Gallimard, 1970, 1529.
39.  Bertrand Guégan, “La correspondance de Montaigne”, in: AMG, 1933, 35, 63-67. 43.  « L’Hymne de l’imprimerie », in: AMG, 1935, 50, 65.
40.  Pierre de Ronsard, Œuvres complètes, Texte établi et annoté par Gustave Cohen, Paris, 44.  Paul Éluard, Œuvres complètes, édition de Marcelle Dumas & Lucien Scheler, préface de
Gallimard, 1958, 942-943, 1130. Lucien Scheler, Paris, Gallimard, 1968, 1467

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Literature and Advertising in Arts et métiers graphiques Kristof Van Gansen

Charles-Albert Cingria, “Occidentalisme”, in: AMG, 1936, 53, 5-8. Con- wrote about a meeting he had with Degas, and an article on the bibliophile
temporary author. Text first appeared in AMG. Later included in his com- books published by Vollard.52
plete works, which cites AMG as the source for the text.45 O.L. Barenton, “Propos d’un confiseur (Éditions du Tambourinaire)”, in:
Jules Laforgue, “Berlin (Éditions de la Sirène)”, in: AMG, 1936, 54, 5-8. AMG, 1938, 65, 5-8. Contemporary author. Reprint of an existing text.
Older author, deceased 1887. According to the table of contents and the col- The final page of the article states that it consists of fragments from Au-
ophon, reprinted fragment of Berlin. La cour et la ville (Paris, La Sirène, 1922). guste Detœuf, Propos d’O.L. Barenton, confiseur, ancien élève de l’École polytech-
Jean Giraudoux, “La guerre de Troie n’aura pas lieu (fragment)”, in: AMG, nique, Paris, Tambourinaire, 1937, although Detœuf is not mentioned in
1936, 55, 5-8. Contemporary author. Reprinted fragment of Giraudoux’ AMG.
play, which was published by Grasset in 1935. Michel Leiris, “Abanico para los toros, dessins de André Masson”, in:
“Lettre d’un trompette de la cour de Salzburg à la sœur de Mozart”, in: AMG, 1939, 66, 5-8. Contemporary author. Reprint of an existing text: the
AMG, 1937, 56, 5-8. Translated reprint of an existing text. According to poem had previously appeared in Mesures, 1938, 4. The article itself points
the colophon, the letter, written the 24st of April 1792, had been translated to this source.
into French from German by Guégan and André Lejard. The German Bertrand Guégan, “Sur une édition annotée de ‘Sagesse’”, in: AMG, 1939,
letter had been published before, for instance in Otto Jahn’s biography of 67, 5-12. Contemporary author. Origin and afterlife unknown, but prob-
Mozart (1856)46 or, more recently, in Roland Tenschert’s Mozart (1930),47 ably an original text for AMG.
but the translation by Guégan and Lejard was probably specially made for Federico Garcia Lorca, “Lettre de Federico Garcia Lorca à J. Bergamin. Ro-
AMG. mance de la lune, lune (poème)”, in: AMG, 1939, 68, 5-8. Contemporary
Borès, “Dessins accompagnés d’un sonnet de Luis de Góngora y Argote”, author, deceased 1936. Reprint of an existing text. The first page of the ar-
in: AMG, 1937, 57, 5-8. According to the colophon, a translation by Hé- ticle states that the poem has been translated by Guy Lévis Mano (who also
lène Pomiès of a Spanish sonnet by Gongóra (1561-1627). Origin and af- laid out the text) and that it is a fragment from 5 Romances gitanes, G.L.M.,
terlife of the translation unknown; originally written for AMG? Addition- 1939. There is no information on the letter, which was photographically
ally, the title foregrounds the drawings by Francisco Bores (1898-1972), a reproduced, but not transcribed, at the end of the article.
Spanish-born artist living in Paris at that time, seemingly giving the sonnet
a secondary status.
Jean Baudry, “Sur l’imprimerie”, in: AMG, 1937, 58, 5-8. Contemporary A first text that I would like to discuss in more detail is the opening text for
author. Origin and afterlife of text unknown; originally written for AMG? the seventh issue, a poem by Jean Cocteau entitled “Éloge de l’imprimerie”, illus-
Rainer-Maria Rilke, “Le onzième rêve”, in: AMG, 1938, 61, 5-8. Older au- trated by Charles Martin.53 The first page of the article says that the poem and the
thor, deceased 1926. Reprint of an existing text. The final page of the article illustrations are a fragment of a plaquette published by Draeger under the title Soignez
de tête states that it is an extract from Le livre des rêves, translated by Maurice la gloire de votre firme. The printing house also laid out the text in AMG. Cocteau’s
Betz, published at Le Pléiade in 1928.
collected works state that the booklet consisted of eleven illustrations by Martin,
Essénine, “Lettre à sa mère (poème traduit du russe par A. Robin. Extrait
de “Mesures”)”, in: AMG, 1938, 63, 5-8. Older author, deceased 1925. Re- with the lines of poetry serving as captions to the images.54 In AMG only two
print of an existing text, as the title in the table of contents indicates. The illustrations were reproduced, and only one had the original legend. The poem by
poem, translated by Armand Robin, originally appeared in the periodical Cocteau with Martin’s illustrations functioned as an advertisement for Draeger, par-
Mesures, 1938, 1. ticularly through its high material quality, which attested to the company’s technical
Edgar Degas, “Sonnet. (Dessins de Degas. Collection Ambroise Vollard)”, superiority. Importantly, the poem was originally conceived as an advertisement (it
in: AMG, 1938, 64, 5-8. Reprint of an existing, but perhaps largely un-
known, text.48 The sonnet, which was written in 1889 and of which only was taken from an advertising booklet), unlike the other opening texts, which were
handwritten copies circulated among a circle of friends, was first published turned into advertisements by the magazine’s creators.
in 1914 in a luxury compilation of Degas’ sonnets of which only 20 copies Another interesting case is the lead article by Fernand Fleuret entitled “Pa-
were made.49 It later appeared in a book on Degas by Paul Lafond (1918)50
and in a special issue of the Revue musicale (1921),51 and possibly elsewhere. rade des caractères” (“Parade of the Typefaces”).55 In this short prose fragment
The same issue of AMG contained an article by art dealer and publish- the narrator describes how he witnesses different fonts coming to life to talk about
er Ambroise Vollard (who supplied the drawings by Degas), in which he their lineage. The colophon states that this text was printed by the Deberny et
Peignot foundry. The article de tête shows the foundry giving the reader an overview
of and, through the words of the types themselves, some background information
45.  Charles-Albert Cingria, Œuvres complètes. Tome quatrième, Lausanne, L’Âge de l’homme, on the different typefaces it had at its disposal, many of them established historical
n.d., 196-198. ones. All of this had to underline the company’s authoritative status in all matters
46.  Otto Jahn, W.A. Mozart. Band 1, Leipzig, Breitkopf und Härtel, 1856, 28-33. typography. The calligramme-like typographic construction at the end of the article
47.  Roland Tenschert, Mozart. Ein Künstlerleben in Bildern und Dokumenten, Leipzig-Amsterdam,
Meulenhoff, 1930, 5-8.
48.  Richard Hobbs, “Sonnets: Edgar Degas, Claudius Popelin, and the poetry of generic con- 52.  Ambroise Vollard, “Mes portraits”, in: AMG, 1938, 64, 39-44; J.-E. [???] Pouterman,
straints”, in Word & Image, 2012, 28, 4, 384-396 (384). “Les livres d’Ambroise Vollard”, in ibid., 45-56.
49.  Huit sonnets d’Edgar Degas, Paris, La jeune parque, 1946, n.p. 53.  Jean Cocteau, “Éloge de l’imprimerie”, in: AMG, 1928, 7, 405-412.
50.  Paul Lafond, Degas, Paris, H. Floury, 1918, 138. 54.  Jean Cocteau, Œuvres poétiques complètes, 1709.
51.  Le Ballet au XIXe siècle, Paris, Nouvelle Revue française, 1921, 33-36. 55.  Fernand Fleuret, “Parade des caractères”, in: AMG, 1930, 15, 873-880.

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again highlighted this diversity of historical and modern typefaces, as well as the
layout-experiments the foundry was capable of. Charles Baudelaire’s “L’étranger”
(“The Stranger”), which figured as article de tête in issue 29, may have had a similar
purpose.56 The words of the two speakers were set in a mix of classic and mod-
ern types, and a different typeface was used for every question asked by the first
speaker. Here again, the type foundry was showcasing its assets.

Fig. 2b - Fleuret’s article, “L’étranger”

Paul Léautaud wrote the lead article for AMG 24, entitled “Propos”
(“Remark”).57 The colophon mentions that this text was printed by Vaugirard, the
printing office where the majority of the periodical was printed and that was owned
by H.-L. Motti, one of the co-founders of the magazine. At the bottom of the co-
lophon, to the left of the text by Léautaud, one reads: “Opposite: pages composed
on linotype in the Bodoni typeface, size 14, italic duplex roman.”58 Before the rea-
der set to reading Léautaud’s article, the editors immediately focused his attention
on the typeface and the printing method that had been used, perhaps more than on
Fig. 2a - Fleuret’s article the content of the text. Previously, and in a similar vein, André Salmon’s opening
57.  Paul Léautaud, “Propos”, in : AMG, 1931, 24, 283-290.
58.  “Achevé d’imprimer”, in: AMG, 1931, 24, n.p.: “Ci-contre: Pages composées sur linotype
56.  Charles Baudelaire, “L’étranger (Essai de mise en page)”, in: AMG, 1932, 29, 5. avec les caractères Bodoni corps 14, romain duplexé italique.”

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text for issue 14 had also been set in a Bodoni typeface on linotype, according to illustrations, layout, type of paper used…). In that case, instead of applied litera-
the colophon.59 Immediately following that article, the editors included an offset ture, it would perhaps be better to speak of literature as an applied art, a decorative
page with an alphabet set in the same Bodoni and also printed using linotype, again art: it adds some cultural surplus value to the sample, but the text often only plays a
calling attention to the typeface used for the article de tête. secondary role; in some cases it is even interchangeable, as the text could have been
The opening text for the 48th issue was the poem “Ulalume” by Edgar any other fragment or even an alphabet.65 An example of the latter is an article de
Allan Poe,60 translated by Stéphane Mallarmé. While Mallarmé’s translation of tête entitled “Alphabets romantiques” (“Romantic Alphabets”), printed by the Im-
the poem had already appeared about half a century earlier in his 1888 Poèmes primerie de Vaugirard:66 rather than being an essay on typefaces from the romantic
d’Edgar Poe, the colophon explicitly refers to the Éditions de la Nouvelle Revue period, this article contained almost no text. Instead, the editors practiced a form
française, where these translated poems were published for the first time in 1928. of visual historiography and let the old typefaces speak for themselves. At the same
The achevé d’imprimer further states that the text had been set in the égyptienne com- time, the article functioned as a catalogue of the different historical typefaces the
pacte of Deberny et Peignot and printed by Vaugirard on héliophile paper made by company was selling.
the Louis Muller et Fils paper mills. The text, then, was a sample of the products
and services of at least three companies active in the printing industry, and it 3. … Or best practices for literary publishing?
could also have been an advertisement in the form of an excerpt for the NRF
edition of Poe’s poems, like the bonnes feuilles mentioned above. In a similar vein, the However, the question remains whether the opening texts included in AMG
articles de tête for issues 40, 51, 54, 55, 61, 63, 65, 66, and 68 may have been advertise- were really interchangeable and whether these texts were just advertisements. After
ments for the books or magazines from which they were reprinted. all, as the advertising leaflet suggested, AMG aspired to be a literary and cultural
The 49th issue contained four letters by Voltaire, which were explicitly stated magazine. In a way, the contents of the lead articles may appear decorative and
to be “inédits”.61 However, the editors immediately expressed their doubts as to secondary to the sample-function of the printed objects, but at the same time these
the authenticity of the letters: “Just how authentic are these letters? A little bit… a contents seem to have been purposefully chosen by the editors, who may have
lot… passionately… or not at all? The editorial staff thinks it is its duty to warn the been reacting against almost randomly choosing texts to promote a new paper or
readers that Maximilien Vox has handed them to us.” 62 At the end of the issue, they typeface: a worthwhile new product, they found, required a qualitative literary text.
noted that the article de tête was actually a replacement for a text by Marcel Jacno, These articles were not just more or less generic texts, but were mostly written
which was indeed published in AMG 50 (Jacno designed the layout for the “Hymne by literary authors (both contemporary and classical) or contemporary art critics,
de l’Imprimerie au Roi”).63 It was only in issue 56 that the reader learned that the and almost always contained statements (on books or graphic design) the editors
letters were in fact forgeries or pastiches created by Vox himself.64 The colophon were likely to agree with. Still, both in the case of the lead articles and in the rest
of the 49th issue states that the layout of the letters was the work of Vox, and that of the magazine, the editors were even more interested in the quality of the visual
the text was printed by Vaugirard on a new paper called Naboffset Bouton d’or created and material aspects of texts than in their contents. Illustrative of this is the fact
by the Louis Muller et fils paper factory. While creating an article to replace another that reviews of books in the section called “L’œil du bibliophile” (“The eye of the
that could not be finished in time, Vox made good use of the occasion to show- bibliophile”) exclusively focused on the material dimensions of the book. The edi-
case his writing and design skills. Simultaneously, the readers were presented with a tors did not even consider it their task to discuss the quality of the contents: they
sample of a new type of paper. engaged in what Roger Dévigne called “typocritique”.67
Texts serving a sample function, such as the ones discussed here are, of Starting, then, with an opening text whose literary value was not really a sub-
course not unusual, and certainly not in a magazine on the graphic arts. Catalogues ject of discussion, the magazine’s designers set out to get its material and visual
of typefaces indeed often include fragments of a famous novel or a poem set in dimensions up to the same level of quality, in line with their definition of a worth-
different versions of the typeface being introduced. Both in the case of these cata- while text, according to which first-order form and content had to constitute a har-
logues and in that of AMG, it is not the content of the literary text that advertises a monious whole (cf. supra). In a programmatic article published in July 1933,68 the
product or a company (although, in Fleuret’s article, it did to some extent): the text editors stated that the lead articles were experiments with typographic architecture
as a whole sings the praise of a new technique or a printing office and convinces to which the literary texts served as a pretext, and that they formed a unique col-
readers of their qualities by virtue of its visual and material appearance (typefaces, lection of essays. The word “pretext” again confirms that the visual and material
dimensions of texts were more important to the editors, but what of these so-called
59.  André Salmon, “Bibliothèques d’écrivains”, in: AMG, 1929, 14, 815-822.
60.  Edgar Poe, “Ulalume (traduction de Stéphane Mallarmé)”, in: AMG, 1935, 48, 5-8. 65.  Although most specimens seem to prefer fragments of real language over an alphabet: in
61.  “Quatre lettres de M. de Voltaire”, in: AMG, 1935, 49, 5-8. the former, the letters appear in their “natural” distribution.
62.  Ibid., 8: “Jusqu’à quel point ces lettres sont-elles authentiques ? – Le sont-elles un peu… 66.  “Alphabets romantiques”, in: AMG, 1934, 44, 5-8.
beaucoup … passionnément … pas du tout ? – la rédaction, en tout état de cause, croit de son devoir 67.  P.C., “L’œil du bibliophile”, in: AMG 20, 1930, p. 98 et sqq. (99); Roger Dévigne, ”Évolution
d’avertir les lecteurs qu’elles luit (sic) ont été confiées par Maximillien (sic) Vox.” artistique et graphique du livre populaire”, in: AMG, 1935, 48, 31-39 (39); Roger Dévigne, “La lettre
63.  “Note”, in: AMG, 1935, 49, 67. et le décor du livre pendant la période 1880-1905”, in: AMG, 1936, 54, 53-56 (53).
64.  A.L., “Micromégas”, in: AMG, 1937, 56, 68. 68.  “Programme 1933-1934”, in: AMG, 1933, 36, 5-8.

138 139
Literature and Advertising in Arts et métiers graphiques Kristof Van Gansen

“essays”? Not all articles de tête were essayistic in tone, as the magazine also pub- after this programmatic text was published for the second time, perhaps to serve as
lished poems, for instance. Instead, we are dealing with what the magazine some- an example of this modern conception of book design.
times explicitly named “essais de mise en page”, or “layout essays”. In these cases, The founders further indicated that this conception had to be applied to
the editors experimented with the layout of plays and poems (both well-known both traditional authors as well as contemporary authors, even popular ones such
and “new” ones): La paix (Peace) by Aristophanes,69 “Correspondances” (“Cor- as Pierre Mac Orlan, and the lead articles demonstrated that this was indeed pos-
respondences”) and “L’étranger” (“The Stranger”) by Baudelaire, “Strophes de sible.74 AMG showed how all texts, distinguished classics and (popular) contempo-
contre-fortune” (“Strophes of Counter-Fortune”) by Vincent Muselli,70 and a rary ones, could benefit from innovative typography (and how Deberny et Peignot’s
fragment of Sophocles’ Antigone laid out by the advertising designer Cassandre.71 typographic services could be of great value in the process). And despite the fact
All these texts are visual essays, experiments with typography, attempts to achieve that the program discussed above was on bibliophile books, many contributors op-
harmony between form and content and to make the form of the text – which posed elitism and snobbism in bibliophilism: they also appreciated more democra-
was and still is often neglected or taken for granted – a meaningful part it. Even tic editions, which they believed had to benefit from technical innovations as well.75
when the denominator “essai de mise en page” was lacking, every lead article was
a layout essay. The typographers, then, did indeed create articles which were “in- As their programmatic texts showed, then, and with the lead articles as a
édits”: they had not been published before in that particular visual and material noteworthy example, the magazine’s creators wanted to put literary publishing,
form. bibliophile books for an elite minority as well as popular editions, on a par with
modern visual culture, which would ensure literature’s relevance in a present and a
The lead articles illustrated what literary publishing had to be for AMG, and future dominated by advertising posters, illustrated magazines, film, photography,
provided an alternative to contemporary book printing. Here it might be useful to radio, and records, and which would enable the book to still stand out in a situation
turn to a text published in AMG that served as the founding manifesto of a new where (to paraphrase German typographer Jan Tschichold) a mass of printed mat-
bibliophile society established by the authors called L’Épreuve (a polysemic term ter confronted readers every day.76 In its trying to get literature as a whole in tune
referring to the printing proof and the challenging of contemporary publishing).72 with new media and in its focus on the material and visual dimensions of texts,
The founders reacted against what they perceived as a spirit of stagnation in the AMG might have been a late (and French) instance of what Julian Murphet has dia-
world of book publication, a spirit that, according to them, kept repeating the same gnosed as “the desire to become a thing” and the “heightening medial awareness”
formulas and ignored innovations. In all other art forms, they stated, new techniques of the Anglo-American avant-garde literature of the first decades of the twentieth
had given rise to new aesthetics, so the book also had to benefit from innovations, par- century.77 One could add that AMG went even further. Precisely because the maga-
ticularly those offered by new printing techniques. The founders wanted the book to zine was more interested in material and visual aspects of texts, literature itself was
follow in the footsteps of other printed matter such as posters, leaflets and catalogues, already a thing to the editors, and it had always been and would always be a thing.78
which in the period indeed made full use of new techniques and also borrowed the
aesthetics of the avant-gardes.73 With new techniques and aesthetics, the bibliophile
society aspired to give new life to the book, an object they felt had never had more 4. “La défense et illustration des arts graphiques”
riches at its disposal. The magazine’s version of the modern book was fully aware of
As the section above has shown, the articles de tête in AMG had a dual func-
its visual and material dimensions and their rhetorical capabilities and thus made good
tion: they were advertisements for printing companies and constituted an example
use of modern graphic design. For the editors, the design of the text could no longer
of what modern literature had to (literally) look like. For the people involved in
be mere exterior finery and decoration, it rather had to harmonically support it. Using
the creation of the magazine, advertising and culture were not irreconcilable but
typefaces, colour and the position of the text on the page, the editors wanted to find
rather intimately related. AMG, then, was not just a cultural magazine, nor was it a
a graphic expression that followed the rhythm and the movement of each particular
commercial one: the two constantly intertwined. In that regard, Boucharenc rightly
text. The fragment of Antigone with Cassandre’s layout was included as an article de tête
observes that the magazine was “representative of the contemporary linking of art
and craftsmanship, of the beautiful and the functional”.79
69.  Aristophane, “‘La paix’ (Essai de mise en pages du dialogue)”, in: AMG, 1931, 21, 115-
70.  Vincent Muselli, “Strophes de Contre-Fortune (Autre essai de mise en pages)”, in: AMG, 74.  Pierre Mac Orlan, “Graphismes”, in: AMG, 1929, 11, 645-652.
1931, 22, 173. 75.  See for instance C. Lucas de Peslouan, “Les Didot”, in: AMG, 1929, 13, 779-789;
71.  Sophocle, “Fragment d’Antigone. Essai de mise en page par Cassandre”, in: AMG, 1933, Adrienne Monnier, “Éloge du livre pauvre”; Roger Dévigne, “Livre populaire”, 39; Maurice
38, 5-12. Cloche, “Un grand éditeur du XIXe siècle. Léon Curmer”, in: AMG, 1933, 33, 28-35.
72.  “La nouvelle société de bibliophiles”, in: AMG, 1933, 37, 2. The text was reprinted in the 76.  Jan Tschichold, The New Typography. A handbook for modern designers, trans. Ruari McLean,
next issue, followed by the statuts of the bibliophile society. The creators of AMG did not fail to ed. Robin Kinross, Berkeley; Los Angeles; London, U of California P, 2006, 64.
point out that these statuts were printed by Deberny et Peignot on Madagascar paper by the Papeter- 77.  Julian Murphet, Multimedia Modernism. Literature and the Anglo-American Avant-garde, Cam-
ies Navarre; turning this text into another sample. bridge; New York, Cambridge UP, 2009, 4-5.
73.  Eddie Breuil also observes that typography becomes daring, but is mostly applied to less- 78.  And perhaps more a thing than an object: see Bill Brown, “Thing Theory”, in: Critical
appreciated genres such as advertising.” (“la typographie devient audacieuse, mais s’applique avant Inquiry, 2001, 28.1, 1-22.
tout aux genres dépréciés comme la publicité.”). Eddie Breuil, “Nul n’est censé ignorer Dada”, in: 79.  Myriam Boucharenc, “Publicité sous influence”, 132: “représentative de la soudure qui
Guellec and Hache-Bissette, 111-121 (112). s’opère alors entre l’art et le métier, le beau et le fonctionnel, le dessin et le dessein.”

140 141
Literature and Advertising in Arts et métiers graphiques Kristof Van Gansen

For the editors, applied arts such as advertising and graphic design had to be
modern and qualitative and had to be defended as arts in their own right: they were
arts that were at least as valuable as the fine arts. This point was made clear right
from the beginning: the very first issue of AMG contained an article by Jean Luc,
in which he wrote that the catalogue was a work of art that was beautiful because
of its utilitarian nature, and that whoever thought that the utilitarian was not artistic
was wrong.80 In its considering advertising a form of art, AMG differed from the
more scientific approach towards advertising promoted in Vendre or by a theoreti-
cian such as Octave-Jacques Gérin, who wanted to professionalize and to rational-
ize – and, as such, legitimize – advertising (for instance by drawing on insights from
behaviourist psychology), but were less interested in the aesthetic dimensions of
advertisements.81 Like AMG, Vendre did contain discussions of posters, but Etienne
Damour, owner of the periodical, did not want the artistic to become the periodi-
cal’s main preoccupation. Moreover, he stated that he was not interested in (artistic)
images, only in words.82 In AMG, the scientific approach towards advertising was
only present in some theoretical texts, for instance in an article on the subconscious
and advertising written by advertising agent Walter Maas, co-founder of the maga-
zine, which referred to recent psychological experiments.83
The artistic conception of advertising, then, dominated in AMG. Mac Orlan
wrote that it was a form of poetry, and that it had its origins in prehistoric mural art,
just like the fine arts.84 André Beucler too linked advertising and poetry, urging its
creators to avoid the mediocre. Far from having a scientific stance towards adverti-
sing, however, he considered it a “mysterious art”.85 Louis Cheronnet, in turn, com-
pared Cassandre to Valéry.86 Earlier on, Cheronnet had observed that religious art
was advertising for faith and the “divine concept”.87 In an article de tête entitled “Salut
à la publicité” (“A Salute to Advertising”), Léon-Paul Fargue described a nightma-
rish vision of a Paris in which all advertising had disappeared – a vision evoked
in similar terms in Blaise Cendrars’ 1927 essay “Publicité = Poésie”,88 which may
have also influenced the three other authors mentioned above – : “One thirsted for
poetry. Contemporary lyricism was dead.”89 Like Mac Orlan, these authors tried
to legitimize advertising by (strategically) tracing its historical roots or by embed-
ding it in the tradition of the fine arts or poetry. The sculptress Yvonne Serruys90
made no distinction between the artistic and the advertising photographs by Edward

80.  Jean Luc, “Le catalogue d’art”, in: AMG, 1927, 1, 49-54.
81.  Marc Martin, Les Pionniers de la publicité. Aventures et aventuriers de la publicité en France (1836-
1939), Paris, Nouveau monde éditions, 2012, 185, 190-196, 201, 204-205.
82.  Ibid., 226-227.
83.  Walter S. Maas, “Subconscient et publicité”, in: AMG, 1927, 1, 55-59.
84.  Pierre Mac Orlan, “Graphismes”, in: AMG, 1929, 11, 645-652.
85.  André Beucler, “Invitations aux voyages”, in: AMG, 1932, 28, 16-21; André Beucler,
“Publicité et poésie”, in: AMG, 1932, 30, 48-49; André Beucler, “Publicité”, in: AMG, 1935, 46,
86.  Louis Cheronnet, “Le 4e salon de l’UAM”, in: AMG, 1933, 36, 49-51 (51). 
Fig. 3 - Fargue’s “Salut à la publicité”
87.  Louis Cheronnet, “Un beau theme publicitaire : la paix”, in: AMG, 1932, 30, 9-10 (9).
88.  Blaise Cendrars, “Publicité = Poésie”, in: Claude Leroy (ed.), Aujourd’hui, Paris, Denoël,
2005, 117-118.
89.  Léon-Paul Fargue, “Salut à la publicité”, in: AMG, 1935, 45, 5-8 (6): “On était assoiffé de
poésie. Le lyrisme contemporain était mort.”
90.  On Serruys, see Marjan Sterckx, “Van fotografie tot wafelijzer. Yvonne Serruys als auteur
voor Arts et métiers graphiques”, in: Van Gansen, 61-72.

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Literature and Advertising in Arts et métiers graphiques Kristof van Gansen

Steichen,91 and even suggested that the applied arts were superior to the fine arts.92 rary publishing. Both the thoughtful use of literature in advertisements for printing
In a similar vein, Georges Blaizot had stated earlier that for true and great artists, companies and the fact that the book would improve (and survive) in its resembling
there was no such thing as “minor art”: book illustration was as valuable as painting.93 advertising would result in a better graphic design; and high quality typography tout
Additionally, AMG did not fail to point out that a successful designer needed métier court was what AMG primarily promoted.
and technical skills as much as creative genius. In an article on Alexey Brodovitch, an
advertising artist and a photographer who would later become creative director of *
the American fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar, Philippe Soupault specifically lauded * *
the former’s craftsmanship.94 Vox, in turn, argued that advertising was an art and a
métier with its own rules: a fine art painter could not just start painting posters without Arts et métiers graphiques appealed to a lettered audience appreciating well-craf-
having at least a hint of knowledge about their specific requirements.95 If advertising ted printed matter by means of encyclopaedic articles on all aspects of typography
was an art, it was an art in its own specific way, and in its own right. written by famous authors and art critics, as well as printing professionals. All of this
In its defence and illustration of the graphic arts, the main purpose of the content was presented in a luxurious way by means of the newest printing techniques.
magazine, and in its trying to promote them as an art form, AMG continuously cal- In doing so, the magazine wanted to be a worthwhile example of modern French
led for more quality – more art and métier – in all forms of design: from wall posters graphic design. At the same time, the companies involved in its creation used the
and catalogues to the book. As for the improvement of commercial design, AMG, periodical to showcase their advanced technical capabilities in all matters of typo-
rather than laying down rules or providing formulas, used its returning feature on graphy. Cultural and commercial purposes, then, were strongly intertwined in AMG.
advertising, “Actualité graphique” (“The Graphic News”), and its special issues on An interesting case of this interconnection are the articles de tête opening every issue:
advertising art entitled Publicité (of which the first was published in 1934) as antho- texts by a well-known author printed on exclusive paper and laid out in a special man-
logies of examples worth following.96 The articles de tête also played an important, ner. These articles were often samples of new types of paper, printing techniques
though less easily discernible, role in that project. In that period, advertising sought or typefaces, to which the literary content added cultural value. As such, they can be
to acquire more cultural legitimacy – and, as such, quality – by drawing on literature considered advertisements for printing offices. Unlike in the case of literary texts
(for instance by commissioning texts by authors or re-using well-known phrases praising a certain brand through their contents, the literary text was an advertisement
from classic novels or poems).97 With the opening articles, the editors may have because of its visual and material appearance as a whole. However, rather than being
been providing examples of how literature could be employed to the best effect in merely advertising, the lead articles also played an important role in the magazine’s
advertisements for printing offices. At the same time, the lead articles show how mission to renew literary publishing. These two purposes of the opening texts were
literary publishing, but perhaps also literature as a whole, too could benefit from in- not mutually exclusive but rather intimately connected for the editors. The magazine’s
novative quality typography, the product AMG defended and promoted. The book, primary objective was the constant improvement of graphic design, and both aspects
the editors felt, had to become as modern as other products of graphic design and fell under that scope. The articles de tête were an example of quality advertising for
new media such as film, sound recording, and photography, both on a technical and printing companies, showing how their samples could become more valuable through
on an aesthetic level. It remains to be seen whether advertising posters and leaflets including literary texts. At the same time, the magazine used the articles in its search
were really a source of inspiration in the magazine’s attempts to create a modern for an alternative to contemporary publishing that would allow the book in its visual
book,98 but this would not be unusual in a period when literature in general (for ins- and material form to remain in tune with modern design and new media. As both
tance the Dadaists) turned towards advertising, a successful, flourishing discourse, projects would result in a more qualitative form of design, they can be considered
looking for innovation, in an effort to survive, or at least maintain its position.99 part and parcel of AMG’s defence and illustration of the graphic arts.
As a graphic arts magazine, AMG turned to the imagery rather than the language
or discourse of advertising in its attempt to renew literature (as a thing) and lite-
Kristof Van Gansen
91.  Yvonne Serruys, “Edward Steichen”, in: AMG, 1937, 57, 50-54 (54).
92.  Yvonne Serruys, “Hans Fischer”, in: AMG, 1938, 63, 44-48 (44). KU Leuven - MDRN
93.  Georges Blaizot, “L’histoire de l’art et l’histoire du livre”, in: AMG, 1929, 11, 661-663 Interuniversity attraction pole Literature and Media innovation (LMI)/Belspo &
94.  Philippe Soupault, “Alexey Brodovitch”, in: AMG, 1930, 18, 1013-1017. ANR « Littérature publicitaire et publicité littéraire de 1830 à nos jours »
95.  Maximilien Vox, “Un d’entre nous : Léon Gischia”, in: AMG, 1934, 43, 42-45.  kristof.vangansen@arts.kuleuven.be
96.  Katrien Van Haute, “Het prille Belgische grafisch ontwerp door de ogen van Arts et
métiers graphiques”, in: Van Gansen, 45-54.
97.  Myriam Boucharenc, “Publicité sous influence”, 133, 138.
98.  Jean Bruller, who replaced Bertrand Guégan as author of the bibliophile reviews in “L’œil
du bibliophile”, indicated that the book after the First World War actually influenced the poster: Jean
Bruller, “Évolution du livre de collectionneur de 1919 à nos jours”, in: AMG, 1937, 59, 31-36.
99.  Myriam Boucharenc, “Publicité sous influence”, 134, 136, 140; Eddie Breuil, “Nul n’est
censé ignorer Dada”.

144 © Interférences littéraires/Literaire interferenties 2016