daily heller 2-21-14

Before Jackets: Naked Covers

With books migrating to pads and pods this maybe a moot point. But before designed book jackets, book covers were the primary illustrative and typographical surface on a book. The photographs of the covers taken from “Arts and Crafts Book Covers” (in the book over 90 in all), makes this an essential document of a fertile creative period.

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10 Cool Packaging Designs From the RDA

Packaging design fights for our attention in the store aisles, whether it be for food, beverages or consumer goods. View 10 cool award-winning examples from Print’s Regional Design Awards that take the cake.

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Smoke Signals

The former Soviet Union and Peoples’ Republic of China have used cigarette packages to commemorate heroes and national virtues. Explore several designs from both nations that blend political symbolism and cigarettes.

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Hangin’ With the Hang Tags

Hang tags aren’t some neo-punk rock group or a new form of graffiti. I love hang tags, so here are a few more to show from France in my irregular series of labels “with strings attached.”

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Those Confounding Maps

Visual Editions has been exploring the rocky terrain of current and future books – design, delivery and platform. Their most recent release, Where You Are is a book of maps and website that collects writing (non-fiction and fiction) and visuals (drawings, photographs, paintings) and tests the common notions of what a map is.

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Smoking’s Poster Boy 1900

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.

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What Designers Won’t Do (Today)

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.

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Book Bag

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.

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Non-hit Psych Pop Redux

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.”