Fonts of Wisdom
I’ve always thought that product labels had more in common with signs than any other sub-genre of commercial design. Perusing grocery store aisles is akin to looking at a vast row of miniature billboards. Quick readability, prominent logo placement, eye-catching functionality and, of course, a sophisticated blend of newness and familiarity are all necessary elements of successful package labels (and successful signs).
But what factors make the readability clear and quick? (hint: contrast) How can you make a logo prominent without merely making it huge? (spoiler: location) What design decisions can ensure your graphics are fresh and familiar at the same time? (tip: know your history)
To expand on these questions, I’ve collected a few vintage produce labels that demonstrate some techniques a sign designer can employ to achieve these goals.
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