Dalrymple, former stamp collector, notes a change in the complexity and subtlety of French stamps after spotting a childish one bearing, not images of historical French achievement, but the message “Bonnes vacances”.
The crudity of the design and colouration of the stamps, however, is part of a general trend to the use of such designs and primary colours. One has only to think of MacDonald’s restaurants, or the logo of Toys-R-Us to understand this. Children’s toys, which make up in quantity what they lack in quality, are now largely of plastic in the brightest reds, blues, greens and yellows. Public playgrounds have slides and climbing-frames in the same colours; and the universally recognisable iconography of Winnie-the-Pooh has changed from the subtle and tender drawings of Ernest Shepherd to the crude and highly-coloured Disney drawings.
Children are attracted naturally by bright colours, of course. That is why their tastes should be educated and not just indulged, or we will end up with a world of Bonnes vacances.