“Trade Ticklers”


In 1904, Bradley was enticed by American Type Founders (ATF) to base his work in New York City. The company set him up with his own well-appointed print shop and he produced what would become The American Chap-Book. Below are three small advertisements for Will Bradley’s Print Shop, offering pictorial designs, type displays, and “a knowledge gained by thirty years of real experience.”  Bradley stopped working with ATF after two years, but continued to maintain his New York studio. He changed the name of his business to Will Bradley’s Art Service for Advertisers and ran it for another ten years. The catalogs on display represent a sample of Bradley’s typographic and design layouts. Several feature his “trade ticklers,” cartoonish images of people he describes as “quaint and fanciful picturings which arouse interest in advertising.”  Bradley’s catalogs boast of over 2,000 designs that can be ordered in any size.

[no image] Catalog, Will Bradley’s Art Service for Advertisers, circa 1914

Bradley occasionally produced instructive work for others involved in the advertising business. System, “the magazine of business,” featured four articles by Bradley between 1912 and 1913. The issue on display here contains the article “Labels and Wrappers,” with both text and images by Bradley. His other contributions to System addressed shopfronts, Christmas store decorations, window cards, price tickets, and announcements.