Friday, December 28, 2007

Turkish Confectionery Art. The necessary arrival of Polish foodstuffs in British shops has seen me optimistically searching for either appealingly dated or enticingly exotic Polish packaging. So far I've been disappointed, most Polish beer cans or orange cordial bottles look as brightly bland and contemporary as any other items of consumer enslavement on Tesco or Asda's shelves. The search for graphic novelty has had to continue elsewhere...

Ulker Cokokrem, now on sale in the UK, is a Turkish liquid chocolate confection packaged in toothpaste style tubes. Perhaps its sugar-saturated contents will be a hit with sweet-toothed children. The acidic green and red packaging is what locked my own adult eye in pleasurable wonderment. Garish candy-stripes and bulging typefaces are seldom used by Western European graphic communicators, but here they are working a treat, like a breath of unsophisticated Bosphorous air. Look how the Turkish designer revels in presenting the product smeared on a crust of bread in total un-natural, lava-like, rippled glory. See how the tube's goofy troglodyte cartoon character could be almost drawn by Ed Roth and how the red plastic cap works as the trog's headgear. Perfect!

I hope I'm feeling well enough by New Year to munch a little bit of Ulker Cokokrem. As they say in downtown Istanbul...mmm, Kremasi!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sick-Note Bagnall. My sincere apologies to all my friends who I was unable to send Happy Christmas wishes to. I've been struck down with the worst streaming cold since I was a lad in short trousers. The timing couldn't have been worse. Pax Vobiscum to you all and I hope you'll keep reading and commenting in 2008 A.D.

Above photo is of St. Padre Pio revering the Christ Child during a 1960s Christmas at Pietrelcina, Italy.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

If you feel compelled to spend your miserable wages on Christmas Tat then these examples of festive kitsch are about one degree preferable to the corporate evils on display in our Capitalist marketplaces. Why? This German Advent calendar doesn't contain any branded chocolate and so you may happily reflect on The Annunciation and the Flight to Bethlehem etc. without teeth decay /contributing to some fat Cadbury executive's Christmas bonus. The St.Nicholas doll above may look cute but he is definitely not modelled on the dominant company-originated image of Santa Claus we all have to put up with. The red-suited and white-bearded brand of Santa comes directly from Coca Cola advertising in the 20th Century. This St.Nick is offering what he owns to the poor and there's not a Nintendo Wii in sight!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Another Edward Bawden mention is long overdue. This lovely Bawden print of The Titfield Thunderbolt is available as a Christmas card from the Royal Academy online shop.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Winter is definitely upon us, but so is the season of Advent, the start of the church year and the holy period of preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Christ.

Adventus is the Latin word for "coming" and is the exact equivalent for the Greek word parousia, the word most commonly used in reference to the Second Coming.

On Sunday you were all permitted to light the first candle on your Blue Peter coat-hanger Advent Crown. I hope you remembered to ask permission from Dad to use his matches...