Friday, January 30, 2009

Tobacco Tin Design

For some time now I've wanted to try my hand at designing a tobacco tin. The first task was to find a suitable piece of art, so I spent probably a good hour or so looking through my clip art collection until I found the right "look." Then I needed a name for the tobacco, one that fit the illustration but was a bit whimsical.

I identified the artwork as "scholarly" almost immediately, but had a little trouble finding the adjective to go with it. Pipe smoking is a bit of an old-fashioned activity these days, I'm afraid, so I started looking for words that connoted "old-fashioned." I finally hit upon "fusty" in the thesaurus.

"Fusty" hit me right away because it has two meanings. One is indeed "old-fashioned" and the other is "old and decaying" and I thought of the comments my wife and family make when I'm smoking a tobacco strong in Latakia or perique. I wanted the label to be a bit whimsical, so I went with "Fusty Scholar" which in itself could mean that the tobacco is old-fashioned/decaying or the scholar himself is. The double meaning was especially satisfying.

It was then a matter of designing the label itself, which didn't take too long. It's not especially elaborate, but I think the best graphic designs, especially for packaging, rely on simplicity. What you see below is the final result, with a weathered or distressed look since I placed it on some apparel available at The Erudite Outlet, my online t-shirt shop.

Any comments or criticisms are most welcome.

- Bob

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