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The Tyre Man

by hidden europe

Picture above: Biblendum, also referred to as the Michelin Man or the Tyre Man is the oldest logo associated with European travel (image by Karinhamich / dreamstime.com).


With the unreliability of the very first cars, motoring was a stop-go process. Bibendum, the remarkable tyre man from Michelin, was always on hand to give advice in the event of breakdown or an enforced overnight stay.

Can you think of a brand design from the 19th century that is still routinely used today? There are certainly travel brand names from that early period which retained popular currency into the 21st century. Examples would be Great Western, Thomas Cook and Wagons-Lits. But we suspect that Michelin’s Monsieur Bibendum — popularly referred to as The Tyre Man — is the oldest logo associated with European travel that is still well used today.

A logo initially conceived to promote the robustness and reliability of car tyres has been creatively redeployed to present the portly authority of a well travelled gastronome who advises us on what detours to make, what sights to see and where to dine in Michelin-style.

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