Pirelli Slippers — Fletcher, Gill and Forbes (1962)

Pirelli (an Italian company most commonly known for formula 1 racing and the tires they produce) in 1962 commissioned Alan Fletcher, Bob Gill and Colin Forbes to collaborate and create an advertisement for their ‘Pirelli Slippers’ which would be displayed on one of London’s most popular modes of transport and famous icon; the red London bus.

The bus advert has the intentions to make 6 unexpecting passengers on the upper deck look like they are wearing a pair of Pirelli slippers, showing that the target market for these slippers can be for anyone and are encouraged for all ages and styles! The typography is slightly hidden by the legs on the advertisement, but I think it is still very much legible due to the contrast between the white and blue. I think this is a humorous advertisement, if I seen it in this day and age on one of our buses it would make me smile a bit and would certainly catch my eye. This is also a very clever place to put an advertisement as if you think about it, thousands of people maybe even millions see a bus advert daily from passengers, to people walking buy it, to other commuters driving and cycling.

Pirelli Slippers

The Slippers themselves seem to be made from the same rubber that Pirelli use for their tyres, which I think is quite unique and interesting. They are very old fashioned looking (as seen in the photo to the left), but they are from the 1960’s after all.

Fletcher, Gill and Forbes became a trio of graphic designers on April Fool’s Day 1962, where they became a devastating force on British graphics. Their first project together was ‘Time and Life’, where they then went on to create the advertisement for Pirelli, and then finally onto work for penguins books.