Jules Cheret: Rimmel Businesscard

Katie Butler: Before he burgeoned into the advertisement titan in adulthood, Jules Cheret lived off of commissions from local theaters and other organizations. By the time he was eighteen, however, he received the opportunity to work with perfume engineer Eugene Rimmel to design advertisements and business cards. This was massive for Cheret, who would eventually go on to use Rimmel’s endorsements and funding to stabilize his own design practice, in which he developed new techniques for the chromolithograph.

The ornate businesscard for perfumer Eugene Rimmel designed by Jules Cheret in the mid 1800s. source:http://driehausmuseum.org/blog/view/jules-cheret-and-the-history-of-the-artistic-poster

This business card in particular is reflective of Cheret’s signature vibrant, playful, ornate, and whimsical artistic style. We see more of a painter than a printer in the business card design here, likely due to Cheret’s influence from design school in his early teen years (visual-arts-cork). The business card is a start of a revolutionary career for Cheret, but also a reflection of his timeless style that lasted throughout his entire life. 

According to an article from sciencesource.com called “Rimmel Perfume Fountain, Crystal Palace, 1851,” Rimmel, also known as “The Prince of Perfumers,” had already made quite a name for himself before needing a business card: “a trailblazer of the beauty and healthcare industries, and contributed greatly to the concept of hygiene and bathing. He was also considered an exceptional marketer and produced detailed mail order catalogues and advertising programs with English theaters.” Cheret’s partnership with Rimmel launched his designs into what they are today. 

This business card is an early glimpse into how Jules Cheret will transform commercial art into its own art form. By creating such an intricate, customized, and colorful business card, he also stretched the boundaries of functional design. People in the mid 1800s would have had a memorable experience receiving Rimmel’s card, and would have likely kept it for the sake of aesthetics. 


Works Cited: 

“Jules Cheret.” visual-arts-cork. Encyclopedia of Visual Artists. Web. 9 April 2020.

“Jules Chéret and the History of the Artistic Poster.”driehausmuseum. Driehaus Museum, 14 March 2017. Web. 10 April 2020.

“Rimmel Perfume Fountain, Crystal Palace, 1851” Sciencesource. Photo Researchers, Inc. Web. 10 April 2020.