Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I find that when I am working on this blog, I like to dig around in my boxes of stuff and see what jumps out at me. Today it was an old cigar box full of matchbooks, actually matchcovers because all of them have had the matches removed. Each one is like a tiny mass produced painting. I love anything that was meant to catch the eye and then be discarded once it was used. it seems like everything now is sold on brand name or by the power of commericals and this artistry has to a large extent been lost. In the 30's a matchbooks tiny graphic image would go out into the world and hopefully secure new customers for a business. So they tried to be bright and flashy, often employing metallic inks. So enjoy this small look at some of my old time favorites.


Chris Merritt said...


My theory is that artists were better then - due to the lack of TV & other distractions, they could really concentrate on becoming better artists...

Dan Goodsell said...

we do have alot of distractions but I thinks the arts are just as strong now as anytime - there have been standout talents in the past like Winsor McKay for instence but even in his day he was a unique talent. In comics we have had people like Jack Kirby, Neal Adams and Frank Miller. All produced a ton of work in comics and I would be hard pressed to say that anyone of them was "better" then the others. I think now it is easy to look back and think of the past as a Golden Age of illustration but each time period had giants and I think we have them now.

Ward Jenkins said...

There's definitely a different aesthetic and approach that the artists back in the day would take to their work compared to now. Time was slower back then, so to speak, and so artists would have a lot longer to work on something before it would go to print. Now, with computers and all, the time involved between getting hired for the job and deadline is very very short. Believe me, I've seen this timeframe get shorter in just the 10 years I've been involved in the animation industry here in Atlanta. Seems like the time I actually work on a spot gets shortened every year. It's crazy.

I've always loved old matchbook covers. I especially love the 'big head' ones in the middle there. Great style and design, along with the wonderful characters. Thanks for sharing!

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