Blog: January 2011

Mmmmmm cheese…

I love a collection, and one that combines cheese and design just has to be worth a post! These wonderful cheese labels circa 1957 are part of a collection large found in a scrapbook on Ebay and featured in Culture Magazine.

Read the full story over on Design Observer.

Images copyright Culture Magazine.

Fri 28 Jan 2011

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Packaging


From the reference box #98

#98 - Hurtigruten Coastal Express leaflet. I think this lovely leaflet is from the late 60's or early 70's. It's dual language (Norwegian?/ English) and gives all the on-board information passengers require for the trip.

The Hutigruten Coastal Express Service is a breathtaking 12 day voyage up the coast of Norway. It starts at Bergen, works it's way up to Kirkenes and then returns to Bergen taking in the gorgeous landscapes, ports and nature along the way.

The leaflet itself isn't that exciting, but the graphics are fantastic. They look like tissue paper collages, but whether they actually are I'll never know. The lobster is definitely my favourite by far.

There's lots more fabulous ephemera in the reference box, make a cup of tea and have a dig around here.

Thu 27 Jan 2011

Posted under: Design , Reference box , Illustration


HOWDOOS now on Folksy!

Our HOWDOOS - hand letter-pressed, personalisable business cards are now available on Folksy and Etsy. Get yours now!

Find out more about HOWDOOS here.

Words of Wisdom!

I read a great post, Wisdom On Writing By The Great Drayton Bird over on the Sell! Sell! Blog at the weekend. Now I'm normally all about the pictures, but I found it really interesting and great advice for anyone that writes, be it for a living, for pleasure or just when blogging.

I highly recommend everyone reads the full post, but here are some of the top tips:

Read any popular novel, newspaper or magazine. They are written for people who are not clever, or not concentrating. Words, sentences and paragraphs are very short. And here are some other suggestions.

1. A heading must make the reader want to find out more, and not reveal so much they might not feel they need to read it.

2. Try to avoid 'we' instead of 'I' - the writing most likely to be read is me to you. People don't relate to organisations.

3. Count the number of "you" words - yours and your - versus "me" words - I, us, our, ours and we. The ratio should be at least 2:1, preferably 3:1.

4. Use "carrier" words and phrases at the beginnings of sentences to keep people reading. Such as Moreover, That is why, In addition, What's more, On top of that, Also and And. These tell your reader there is more to come. And forget what your teacher told you: "And" is often used to start sentences in The Bible.

5. You can also use questions at the ends of sentences or paragraphs. Why is this?

6. Because which you have to read on to get the answers (and if you notice, the end of point 5 and start of this point demonstrate what I mean).

George Orwell's "1984" and "Animal Farm" were gripping parables about the nightmare of totalitarianism. In an essay he gave six rules for better writing.

1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

People get used to them and they fail to take them in. Say something fresh or different. Don't say "at the end of the day" - say "in the end"; don't say "put it to the acid test" - say "test thoroughly". "Cutting edge" or "state of the art" mean "newest"

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

Complimentary - Free
Anticipate - Expect
Expectation - Hope
Authored - Wrote
Transportation - Car
Purchase - Buy
Ameliorate - Improve
Lifestyle - Life
Marketplace - Market

3. If you can cut a word out, always do so.

"Miss out on" should be "miss"
"Male personnel" is "men"
"For free" is "free"
"Crisis situation" is "crisis"
"Meal solution" is "meal" or "recipe"
"Research process" is usually "research"
"Station stop" is "station" or "stop"

4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

Active is always shorter. A biblical example is "Esau was slain by Jacob" - better as "Jacob slew Esau".

5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

"Interface" works better as "talk with"
"Core competencies" means "what we do best"
"Easy to use" beats "user-friendly"
"Mission statement" is "our aim"
"This is a non-smoking environment" is "No smoking"

6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

I have two suggestions besides making sure you write as simply as possible.

Before you start, write a simple, logical structure for what you want to say. Then draft - and revise until you're 100% sure anyone can understand it.

A friend once gave me a recipe for this which delighted me. "Show it to an idiot," he instructed, "Get them to read it, and ask if they understand".

Mon 24 Jan 2011

Posted under: Advertising , Marketing , Writing


From the reference box # 97

#97 - Hoffmann's die-cut advertising cat, circa 1930's. This cat is way too cute to be put away in the reference box so he lives on my desk. His front legs pull forwards so that he can stand up, but he's very small for a point of sale and he has a card around his neck that reads, "HOFFMANN'S Reis-Stärke mit der katze" ("Hoffmann's rice starch, with the cat"). I did read that he's a bookmark, and he would do the job well, but I'm not convinced that was his original purpose.

Hoffmann's were a German starch factory just outside Salzuflen founded in 1850. They're cat logo (below) designed by illustrator Flinzer Fedor became a registered trademark in 1876. The cat was used as it portrays cleanliness. Hoffmann's really loved the cat as an icon and it's said on their 100th anniversary they decorated a cat on a pedestal in the factory grounds and in 1988 a giant cat was paraded through Salzuflen to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the freedom of the city. A 2 metre high statue of the cat was also taken to events during the 1930's!

There's lots more vintage advertising and packaging in the Reference box - check it out here.

Thu 20 Jan 2011

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box


Harper, Harper, Harper!

How lucky am I? Look at the fabulous birthday gift I received at the weekend.

It's an original Harper, Harper, Harper poster created in 1977 to promote an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Edie, Brett and Charles Harper at the Frame House Gallery, Louisville, Kentucky.

The ladybird is a classic Charley Harper illustration and one he used regularly, so it's great to have a piece that incorporates it.

This poster and many other great Harper prints/posters are now available from Castor + Pollux, Brighton who are now an official Charley Harper retailer!

Wed 19 Jan 2011

Posted under: Design , Things to buy , Illustration


From the reference box #96

#96 - Vintage Wall's Carry Home Bag. I've always liked the Wall's logo, but coupled with these little butterflies it looks even better.

It's a very thick paper bag designed to carry home your ice-cream. I have no idea what year it's from, but I would guess at mid 60's or even early 70's judging by the design and print quality.

Have a good old rummage around the rest of our reference box here.

Walter Allner: Modern Packaging

I thought these covers for Modern Packaging seemed familiar and then I discovered they were designed by Walter Allner, the art director of Fortune magazine 1962 - 1974.

I love the Fortune covers, and these are equally as fabulous with their big blocks of colour, strong use of black and the simplified graphic illustrations.

The Modern Packaging covers above range from 1955 - 1963 so there must have been some overlap when Allner was working at Fortune magazine and still creating the Modern Packaging covers. His motto was, "Raise the aesthetic standard - the public is more perceptive than you think".

These covers are part of the Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) Walter Allner collection donated by the man himself. The RIT have a great online Graphic Design Archive (GDA) showcasing and preserving "the work of significant American graphic designers active from the 1920s to the 1950s", including Saul Bass, Alvin Lustig and Paul Rand.

Via Aqua Velvet.

Mon 10 Jan 2011

Posted under: Design , Illustration , Magazine


From the reference box #95

#95 - Vintage Ryvita paper bag. I'm guessing that these bags were used to buy individual Ryvitas before they were available in packs.

It's definitely post World War II, probably early 50's as it states, 'Made in Poole, Dorset' - the new factory location after the original Birmingham one was bombed during the war.

I love the print quality, yes it is a bit blobby in places, but I like that and I also really like the shopping list element on the back. It's interesting to see vintage packaging encouraging re-cycling and re-use, almost like we've done a full circle!

Don't forget to have a root through our other reference box items, you never know what you might find!

Thu 06 Jan 2011

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box

1 Comment

Auto Type X

Happy New Year!
What better way to kick off 2011 than with some fabulous Auto type taken at the Brooklands' New Year's Day meet.

Brooklands Museum stands on part of the historic Brooklands Motor Course - the first purpose built race track in Britain, constructed in 1907 by Hugh Locke King. They have some really good Motorsport and Aviation exhibits including a full size Concorde complete with an onboard flight simulator.

Check out all our Auto Type and Automobilia posts here.


Welcome to the Delicious Industries blog. We're an independent design studio based in Brighton, UK and this is our scrapbook packed full of design, illustration, photography & typography inspiration. Check out our work here.

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