In 1915 the National Biscuit Company filed 13 copyright infringement suits to enjoin these businesses from either infringing upon NBC’s brand names (including their “Swastika” or red end seal) and/or violating the sanctity of their packaging motifs.
Chalk wipes off with water or disappears with time. The racist image, however, isn’t as easily erased. It’s a stain — a human stain. The artifacts of institutional racism in the United States are apparent in many vintage advertisements, comic books, cartoons, product packages, board games, novelty toys, picture postcards and every other kind of popular art or entertainment from representation of minstrel shows to radio’s Amos and Andy.
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.