Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sweet on Packaging

It's a good thing sugar has a long shelf life. It most often outlives the packaging. And the sugar cube is now a sugar packet with none of the charm or respect it once had. Fortunately, sugar cube collector Frank Kelsey has archived some sweet cubic ephemera on Flickr. He has compiled nearly 1000 sugar cube packages in alphabetical order which are a living history of American restaurant and bar culture over the last half century or more. Sugar cubes, like matchbooks, were once considered a common source of ephemeral advertising for the food and drink industry, and their printing quality was just as rustic. This was a large part of their attraction too. Nothing is crisp or refined (but the sugar) and the rawness of the one and two-color printing has an alluring appeal and charm. Despite their wear, Kelsey's cube collection comprises a bountiful cultural resource of typography and logo design from decades of American food and drink venues. They are like finding the lucky penny lost under the couch cushion long ago; which makes you smile despite feeling sticky and gross. Below is another far more colorful collection of sugar cubes found in an attic in Germany two years ago by a member of Arkadia & Co. Note how this colorful assortment has a lot less sticky factor. ;)
::via SwissMiss

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