What’s fun about looking at old cigarette advertising is how guileless they were. Take this advertisement for Omar Cigarettes. The portrait of the gent on the links who’s played a “bully round” looks, well, like the epitome of an anti-tobacco message. The linkage between the headline “When a Cigarette Tastes Sweetest” and the wizened granddad is off the mark.
Or would they? In the 1930s, graphic or industrial designers wouldn’t think twice about designing cigarette packages. Now, it is the number one no-no. Anyone with a social conscience would cut off their right (or left depending on their orientation) hand before contributing to the danger of others. But back then, before health facts and warnings, cigarette packs were well-designed by some masters, like Raymond Loewy’s iconic Lucky Strike bullseye.
Look closely at these wonderful book jackets. Now, look again. Can you tell a book by its cover? More to the point, can you tell a woman’s bag by its book cover. What?!! These are not books but handbags with redrawn and painted covers based on original book cover designs and found in the various collections and accessory lines by French clothing designer Olympia Le-Tan, who, for those who know the work, is the daughter of the illustrator Pierre Le-Tan.
For all the decades I’ve known the great Gary Panter as cartoonist, comics artist, painter, shadow puppeteer, scenic designer, light designer, author, graphic novelist and all around great talent, I had no idea he had a band. His psych pop band’s new 2 LP vinyl gate-fold package album art from Feeding Tube Records in Northampton, MA is titled “Honeycomb of Chakras.”