My Goodness… My Guinness

Retro Staff Comments

Guinness Label Pint GlassBrewed in about 50 countries, Guinness – an Irish dry stout -is one of the most successful beer brands across the globe. It’s distinctive “burnt” flavor is a result of roasted, unmalted barley, it’s creamy head a result from mixing the beer with nitrogen when poured.

In the 1930s, the company began advertising the beer using unique and artistic posters. Some were interspersed with propaganda, like “Guinness is Good For You”. (Today the company says it does not endorse the slogan, but still embraces the rich history of the designs.)

Guinness Lion Pub Tin Sign

The Gilroy campaign ads ran in the 1930s and 1940s.

The “My Goodness… My Guinness” line of advertising featured a zoo keeper named Gilroy, who often was being chased by, or having his beers stolen from, various animals – like a sea lion, an ostrich and a group of toucans.

Gilroy also appeared in the first Guinness television commercial. Portrayed by comic Charlie Naughton, the zoo keeper wrestles with a sea lion to recreate one of the original posters. The commercial, which aired September 22, 1955, was the first evening any advertising appeared on TV in the UK.

Another campaign, “Guinnes for Strength” was used on advertising posters. Characters were seen using immense strength – such as carrying a girder with one hand, lugging a horse in a cart, and hauling huge crops of vegetables by oneself. Reproduction tin signs of the classic ads now bear the slogan, “Lovely day for a GUINNESS”.

By the early 1960s, the company changed it’s line of advertising, removing unproven claims of it’s “health” benefits. The original designs, though, are prime selections for display in home bars, man caves and workshops.

As popular as it is to drink Guinness is to collect and decorate with the beer’s vintage advertising and gadgets. An entire line of reproduction tin signs, linens, glasses and barware is available the Guinness lover.

> Shop for Guinness Decor, Mugs, Glasses and Barware at Retro Planet

Decorating with Guinness…

It doesn’t take a lot to create a look with big impact. This is a very simple and elegant design solution that could make the corner of your room or office more interesting. One print hanging alone is nice, but it doesn’t do much for your room. A grouping of like or related items unify into a stunning design element. Your room will look like you had help decorating it, but you’ll have done it all on your own.

The inspiration for us was this collection of Guinness Framed Matted Prints. One by itself would be nice, but displayed together they say so much more. The addition of a hanging light fixture makes your room really special. This light from IKEA echoes the shape of the framed prints, tying the whole look together. The handmade paper light shades and the tranquil tint of wall paint soften the overall look.

This look has a kind of Zen-meets-Cosmo quality to it that I’d like to see in my own home. If Guinness isn’t your thing, be sure to look at all of the other framed print options we have at We hope you get inspired and will send us your comments and photos after you create your own special corner look.

Guinness In An East-Meets-West Design Solution

Guinness In An East-Meets-West Design Solution

This wall décor layout lends itself to so many different locations and uses. It would be appropriate in a livingroom, gameroom, kitchen or behind a bar—you can be the judge. This dynamic arrangement is successful because of the grouping of related items. The Guinness Arrow Metal Sign and the Guinness Framed Prints add some whimsy. While the framed Guinness logo lets everyone know what your favorite drink is. The placement of the objects is clever and balanced so they work together beautifully as a group. The red wall serves to really make the entire grouping really stand out.

If you prefer a different display, take some layout inspiration from our photo and make the design your own by grouping some of your favorite artwork and signs. If you need something to complement your grouping, or need further inspiration, browse the many prints, signs and other items we carry at And please remember us when you’re done. Send in your photos and comments so we can share your design solution with others.

Guinness Sign & Framed Print Groupings

Guinness Sign & Framed Print Groupings


Are you a Guinness lover? Do you remember the retro advertising efforts of this long-running popular brand of beer?

Last updated: Jun 12, 2012
Filed under: Retro Memories, Retro Planet Products Tagged with: advertising, beer