Sunday, 4 March 2012

Retro Food Packaging

The internet is amazing for archives of old imagery, whilst looking around for old food packaging I found this website which features alot of different retro packaging imagery and also photographs from various super markets and places from past times.

Whilst looking through and obsessing over all these different images, I have been trying to idenitfy just what it is that makes these images look how they do. There are so many different styles, yet you can tell they are all from the same era? How do they do it?

I've been studying through them and working out what it is that I like about these images, what it is that identifies them as those kind of images and also what elements and techniques I can apply to my way of working to continue to develop my way of working into something I love!

The image above shows most of the things which I have identified as important when creating this kind of image.

Shapes: The backgrounds generally are made up of different shapes, a mixture of angular shapes with more rounded softer shapes, this is impotant to the make up of these kind of images, however if you are to make purely shape based images now, they can be percieved as though they are thrown together on illustrator, so it is important to make sure you avoid that!

Characters: Retro food packaging almost always features some sort of character, the illustration styles seem to vary for each character, and these characters can vary from a well known characters, such as disney characters of film stars, to made up ones for that specific product.

Type: There is a mixture of lots of different typography on these kind of images. The typography isn't perfect, thats what I like about it, some letters are slightly smaller or slightly out of place and is always in some way textured.

Use of white: The use of white is important, whether it be as an outline on the characters of shapes, as a border, or as gaps in the areas of coloured in spaces, it is important that white is in some way included.

Colours: The colour palettes vary from having a mixture of lots of different colours to really limited colour, I personally think the images which have limited colour work best for this kind of imagery. The colours usually are also quite saturated, I don't know whether this is actually because of how they are printed, or just because they have faded throughout time? But if we are to create an image that would replicate or be very similar to an image from that time, I think using saturated colour would help create that effect.

Texture: All the above I feel, would look too modern if they did not have a grainy texture behind them, adding a texture makes the images much more authentic looking I think. Also, benday dots in areas of the illustration help create that look too!

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