Fall 2013


Drinking up all obstacles


This poster features Michelin’s celebrated mascot Bibendum, first drawn by the popular advertising illustrator O’Galop (Marius Rossillon) in 1898. As company lore has it, the firm’s founders—brothers Andrè and Edouard Michelin—initially began conceiving of the character after seeing a pile of stacked tires that suggested the form of a man at the 1894 Universal and Colonial Exposition in Lyon. O’Galop repurposed a poster design rejected by a Munich brewery, replacing a stein-wielding King Gambrinus with the imperiously pneumatic Bibendum, who towers over the deflated forms of his competitors as he toasts with a coupe full of glass and nails. His motto, Nunc est bibendum (taken from Horace, it literally means “Now it is time to drink”), was a nod to the firm’s assertion that their tires would “drink up” any obstacle in their way.

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