(Here's a Colonne Morris seen from my local café—also doubles as as hat!)
But most of all, they are adorned with beautiful posters: only those advertising cultural events (films, concerts, theatre, etc) are permitted. With such a steady stream of work (some of it publically funded) and abundant places to display it in, the flowering of French poster art was the inevitable result. From Toulouse-Lautrec and Alphonse Mucha, to A.M. Cassandre and Raymond Savignac and Hervé Morvan, not to mention André François, Nathan-Garamond and Jean-Michel Folon —they all contributed to the rich visual feast on the streets here.
Newer practitioners you may want to look at:
- Michel Batory (who had a retrospective at Musée des Arts Decoratifs recently)
- The fabulous Zeloot (and much more here)
- Michel Quarez (and here)
- French posters: a huge collection organized by era (don't miss the ones after World War II...)
- Chaumont: International Poster Festival
- And further afield: there's the International Poster Bienale, at the Poster Museum in Wilanow, Poland (which is held in June of even-numbered years).
Road trip, anyone?