Diet Pepsi

Wednesday May 25thDrinks Category


I’m don’t usually drink soda but I’ve always ad a fondness for Pepsi.  To make a long story short, my sister and I would help out in my dad’s auto part store from 1978-1983 and there was a soda machine with Pepsi products that you’d slide the cans out yourself, which we of course to a free pass to.  As we’d “help” throughout the day our cans of Pepsi would sit around and get flat and warm (especially if we left them in the display windows we were cleaning) and to this day if  I drink a Pepsi, I prefer it flat and warm.
Although my sister were just kids we didn’t bother drinking Diet Pepsi but I have to say looking at the can really brings me back.  The design is really great.  I don’t know if it makes me think of it being a diet drink but the title font is one of my all-time favorites even though I don’t know the name of it – but I love it when I see it.  Also, the waves look somewhat calming at the bottom and remind me of Love Boat.  I would have thought they’d use three colors – one for each wavy line but they must have known what they’re doing because it’s so recognizable in a second when I see it.
This photo was from a 1985 ad when NutraSweet was really gaining popularity so unfortunately, there’s a red parallelogram that interferes with the waves.
Diet Pepsi had since gone through a  few design incarnations but here is the latest (that I know of) with the “Obama” logo on a plain grey can.  The title font is similar but thinner and placed vertically instead of horizontally.  It’s almost easy to miss if you’re just scanning the shelves.  What stands out most is just the logo and I guess you’re supposed to know from the color of the can being grey that it’s the diet version of the symbol known as Pepsi.
It’s okay and I like it’s simplicity but doesn’t speak to me the way the old can does.
There was also a little display at the bottom of the page of their other diet products I thought was worth sharing:

Diet Pepsi: Old or New?

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Wednesday May 18thHealth & Beauty Category

I have this box/tube of Brylcreem I bought at a 5 & dime last year.  There isn’t a date on the package but I did buy a really old Shine Free powder identical to the kind I used to get in 1985.  There were lots of items in there from the 70’s and 80’s and looking at the design I’ll guess this was late 70’s/early 80’s.

Comparing the old (top) package  and the new one,  there doesn’t seem to be all too much of an update to the current design.  While the color scheme is the same, some things have changed.  The new font is a stark white and ever so slightly slanted to the right. There’s a little more information on the new package and a slogan quite but for the most part is pretty simple.
But (of course) I really like the old package because the font is orange and I think it makes more of an impact on the overall look of the box.  I think what really makes the whole design is the white stripe down the “l”.  It’s so simple but really makes the package look like there’s something “more” to it.  I’m just a huge fan of sport stripes anyway so this particularly appeals to me, but I also think they chose the perfect font for it too.  It’s like…art.  Love it!

Brylcreem: Old or New?

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Modern packaging gone good-Pretzabagels

Monday May 16thFood Category


I know it might not seem like it, but I’ve missed posting on here.  Going through old ads is one of my favorite things to do and it’s bothered me that I haven’t had time to do that.
Work has been crazy and I thought I’d have more free time after months of training for Boston and I think things are finally slowing down enough to get back to the blogging world.
I still have my growing pile of old magazines to get to, but while I was out this weekend I came across a new product  with such pleasant packaging I thought it was blogworthy.
I give you Thomas’ pretz-a-bagels.
Sure, the font is beveled and outlined and there’s the commonly used beams of light from the center of the design, but what makes this package is the pretzel and bagel shaking hands.
Does it get more adorable than that??  It’s actually an interesting concept for a product and makes me happy for the design team because you KNOW they had a blast coming up with this graphic.   I feel like you don’t see images like that anymore.   Simple and illustrative that easily conveys what the product is in a single image.  Bravo Thomas’!

It’s a little ironic but this new item has kick-started my love for retro packaging.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a bunch of old crappy magazines to go through!!

Pretz-a-bagels, What do you think?

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Fit & Trim

Wednesday February 2ndPet food Category

We only had a dog for a year or so in 1979.  She was a Golden Retriever named Honey and ran away.  One night about a week later, she came back during a rain storm. My sister and I were so happy and then the next morning she ran away again, for good.  That’s the extent of my dog ownership so I don’t have much experience with buying dog food but I know what I like in packaging and this 1985 Fit & Trim bag is just awesome.
A green background with a nicely contrasting yellow font. The Purina checker board logo fits nicely anchored in the upper left corner. I love the cleverly designed title font that looks like measuring tape- so cute!   As if that’s not adorable enough the cartoon dog is running wearing a track suit. And if that’s not cute enough- look the expression on the dog’s face-he’s so into it,  total runner high going on there.

The new package is more sleek and does convey a feeling of fitness with it’s slim, beveled and drop-shadowed font and light colors.  There are actual images of the product and ingredients as well as a real dog and a seemingly slightly dis-proportioned owner in tow.  The dog is so fit that it’s walking right off the bag out of the little semi-circle of scenery. It’s okay, nothing overly outstanding and to me and is certainly no competition for the awesome font and adorable cartoon of the older package.

Fit & Trim: Old or New?

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Friday January 21stDrinks Category

I remember we had a Veryfine vending machine just like the one on the left in our middle school cafeteria.  I usually got the apple juice but sometimes got the fruit punch. I LOVED their package design- SO incredibly simple and minimal but extremely recognizable.  Match that up with the oh-so-pleasant font and they had a product packaging and logo home run.  I also liked seeing the other minimalist interpretations of fruit for the other juice bottles. Unfortunately there is almost no evidence of old Very fine on the web, which I think is a crime but if you’d like to check out other awesome logos created by the same firm check out their site.

The new Veryfine machine* does the usual updates like making the backgrounds busy and “exciting” and glowing the logo.  Obviously I feel they should have left it alone but I do like they kept the font at the bottom of the new machine that reads “fruit juices & drinks” the same, although I wonder why they bothered.  If you’re going to keep something the same- why not the awesome apple??
The new apple is okay, it’s still a fairly simple graphic suggesting an apple but it’s really no match for the earlier version.  I would hang the front panel of the old VF machine on my wall and definitely would not do the same for the new one.
And that’s how I feel about that.
*A big thank you to “The Upstairs Room” on Flickr for allowing the use of their photo

Very fine: Old or New?

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Phillips Bug-A-Way

Tuesday January 4thEverything else, Household Category

I don’t have any fond memories of Phillips bug-a-way bulbs.  I have some terrible memories of wishing my parents had bought bug-a-way bulbs.  There would be gangs of multi-legged forest creatures that would loiter at the front door on summer nights.  Moths that seemed to be the size of blue jays, kamikaze hard shelled bugs and giganto spiders hanging out to eat these things – I think I even saw an African walking stick that probably hitchhiked all the way from Nigeria because he heard of how insane the parties were on our front step.   I remember just dreading coming home from the grocery store or wherever to see what Ripley’s display was waiting for us.  I don’t have any other memories of my parents being “mentally challenged” except for the fact that they never bought a bug light for the stupid front door.

So, I have no idea what year the package on the left was made.  I want to say about 1983 because I found this at our local “living museum”  where it is not uncommon to find products on the shelves covered in dust and having an early 80’s date on them.   Of course I love the simplicity of the package and the flat colors  but what really makes the design is the bug/lightbulb relationship so clearly conveyed through the easy-to-understand graphic.
I love the horizontal lines that seem to be coming from the bulb, pushing the bug away and re-routing it’s path. This is what should have been going on at my front when I was a kid.

The new box is okay.  It still keeps it simple but doesn’t have the silent power that the old one has.  Instead of the horizontal lines coming from the bulb, the run behind it- and the rather small image of a light.  The bugs look like they’re going away from the lamp but going for the bigger meat of the larger bulb.  Also interesting is that in the upper right corner it reads “60w Yellow” but the image is of a white bulb.
The old box  has a nice bright yellow bulb – there’s no need to actually read the box (who wants to be bothered with that?)
I think the old box is more upfront and direct in it’s design of showing what it does and what you’ll get.  The new box just lacks the identification one might be looking for while scanning the shelves of bulbs at Home Depot.

Phillips Bug-A-Way: Old or New?

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Hershey’s Cocoa

Tuesday December 28thFood Category

I’ve been doing a lot of baking lately and came across a few recipes with cocoa powder.  For the first time in a long time I bought some unsweetened cocoa powder.  I  knew I had an image of an older package somewhere – and there it its right above these words!
I remember my mom had the can to left  in the cupboard when I was growing up and always thought it should be drinking cocoa.  My young mind couldn’t put together why there would be such a thing as UN-sweetened cocoa.
The older package is metal and the cover is a round plug at the top.  The only words on the front of the package are “Hershey’s Cocoa”. I thought it might have been simplified for the ad but after a quick googling I saw some cans with just that- at most, some say “Great for baking”.
The new package is paper and plastic although it does use similar colors.  The text is almost identical except for the slight beveling and shading.  Also, I’m not sure why they enclosed “Hershey’s” in a rectangle.  They’ve also added “Since 1894″ and “Natural Unsweetened”. I’m not sure what “bestlife” is in the little green oval. I googled but didn’t see anything about it in 30 seconds of searching and decided to move on.  I’m guessing it’s some sort of Good Housekeeping seal of approval.

They’re both pleasant packages and I don’t have anything against the new one at all although I do like the sturdiness of the metal can and the coin-bank look of the round plug-top.

Hershey's Cocoa: Old or New?

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Sunday December 12thHealth & Beauty Category


I’ll start off with an apology for not posting in 12 days (where does the time go?) and also that this is a “rainy day”post. I need to find some “new” old material and had this Breck example saved for a rainy day (something I’d use if I didn’t have anything better already scanned) and it’s raining so, here it is.
I don’t know if it’s just me but the old Breck seems like quite a husky shampoo bottle.  Like the line backer of shampoo, it almost seems like it should be geared towards men.   I like the dark and light blue bars containing the name of the product and a shirt description of what it does.  I think the combination of the the gold color of the shampoo and the flamboyantly cursive B (or is that more than a B?) embossed in the bottle gives it an almost regal look.

The new bottle is much thinner and uses an opaque container so you can’t see the color of the product.
Still there is the letter B at the stop of all the labeling but it is much less extravagant.  I don’t know if this is a trend or not and I can’t think of exactly what other products I’ve seen it on but I feel like that DNA design to the left is something that has been used in different variations on packaging in the past few years.

I can honestly say that neither bottle is too exciting, memorable or appealing and this motivated me to go through some more old magazines : )  I’ll go with the old bottle just because at least with the transparent bottle the gold color of the shampoo adds another element, while the new bottle looks like hospital shampoo.

Breck: Old or New?

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Egg Beaters

Wednesday December 1stBreakfast, Food Category


I found this 1986 ad for Egg Beaters and it brought back memories of my dad being really into these and always seeing a pack in the freezer and fridge.   I thought “That’s too bad they don’t come in that package anymore to compare” and wouldn’t you know it, they still do!  I don’t know why since they also are offered in the refrigerated section as a single carton but yes, the y are still offered as a double mini carton pack in the freezer section as well.
This is another example of 80’s awesomeness. Single color background, simple – basic shape graphic and adorable font.
Really adorable font, it makes me happy just to look at it. Kind of like the old Very Fine fruit juice logo/packaging.

The new packaging is, as most updated versions, much busier. There’s a photo of the product on the right half of the package while the left half has a more cursive font using gradient and slight drop shadow.  The word “egg” seems to be emphasized more than “beaters” and it’s all in front of a outer glow background.  It’s slightly interesting that “egg product” is mentioned twice and there’s a heart to showcase the health benefits of the product. One thing that is missing is any showcase of “Fleischmann’s”, although I think they must have been bought out and just stick to yeast and margarine but I’m not sure.  I started to research and had to move on to other things..

Also I noticed Egg Beaters no longer offers their “Cheez” flavor but again, love the simple graphic of the cheez wedge. So cute!

Egg Beaters: Old or New?

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Franco-American Gravy

Sunday November 28thCondiments, Food Category


I’m sure we’ve all seen enough gravy in the past few days but I found this Franco-American gravy ad and had kept this jar of gravy in my cupboard just because it is now the only product that bears the name “Franco-American”.   Campbell’s, which has owned F-A since 1915 started taking over the labels of their products in the 2000’s and the only Franco-American labeled product (at least in the states) is Slow Roast gravy.  Spaghetti-O’s and Ravioli-O’s still exist but under the Campbell’s label only.

Anyway, the 1983 can on the left has a nice photo of the product being ladled out as a proper serving suggestion. I’ve always been a fan of the stark, blank background.  I don’t know why, it just seems a little…mysterious or something.  Like maybe the ladle should be a weapon on a Clue card.  Not much else going on- the F-A logo is a slightly wavy banner although the text stays straight.  There’s a little tri-colored shield/coat of arms  and just the words “Turkey Gravy”.

The new can is a jar, and the serving suggestion is mostly obstructed by the rectangle that encompasses the text.
The F-A logo is mostly the same although it seems a little wavier and and the text bends with it, as well as some slight shading to add some depth.  It has also taken on the title “Slow Roast”.  There’s an added wavy banner at the lower left to let you know it’s “As always 99% fat free”.

Of course I’ll go with anything that looks like a Clue card but I do like that Campbell’s k one product with the name people recognize, although I think they would have been smart to also keep the name with their pasta products.

Franco-American Gravy: Old or New?

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