BOOK CORNER #22

A collection of canned food labels

What?
This little (350-page) book presents a collection of Japanese canned food labels, going back as far as 1877.


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Why?
Contrary to popular belief, graphic design cannot exist in a vacuum, and this collection is proof of that. To depict a hidden product, to make it desirable, and to appeal to the Japanese as well as to English-speakers – the task might seem daunting. And yet the result is extraordinary, bringing forth a profusion of colors and a plethora of refined symbols, drawings and patterns.
And also…
Similar designs were featured on canvas sacs (especially Indian ones) a few seasons ago. This book takes stock of nearly five hundred labels and classifies them by product type, date and manufacturer, although a working knowledge of Japanese is useful in understanding this last feature.

 

 

A collection of canned food labels, 2012, 350 p. Ed. Seigensha.
Kenzo, 60, rue de Rennes, Paris.