About to Explode . . .

On June 22 and 23, at 10 a.m., thousands of fireworks went up in auction. Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pennsylvania, had what must be a day of the rockets red glare, with more cracker packs than you could light in a lifetime placed on the block. I missed it, which is why I am almost two months late with this post. But the good thing (thanks to my colleague Richard Wilde’s keen eye) is the 256-page catalog with all the offerings in explosive color.

It never fails to fascinate me how much graphic design and illustration go into objects that we often take for granted. Anyone who has ever lit a fire cracker knows the packages have labels—but Morphy Auctions shows the incredible number and variety. And these are not the full extent ever produced. For more on Morphy’s pop culture artifacts, go here.


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For more Steven Heller, check out Design Disasters: Great Designers, Fabulous Failure, and Lessons Learned, one of the many Heller titles available at MyDesignShop.com.

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  1. My father liked blowing things up.As a kid in the 70′s, we would drive from Pennsylvania to Ohio to get our load of explosives as the 4th was upon us.The packaging had inspired me, I fell in love with the art, and to this day look for old school explosives.Very hard to find. Thanks for the post … the auction netted over $450.000.00 on the items mentioned in the article.I would love to have just one.