Mascots and logos as we came to know them often were extracted from engraved advertising art used even before the turn of the prior century. The Smith Brothers or the Quaker Oats man or even Nipper the RCA Victor dog with the quizzical face were lifted from the art used to hock the wares. Those logos were etched and full of nostalgic charm from when the world was more innocent, but illustrated in this manner solely because that technique was essential for printing. Our continued infatuation with this style has nothing to do with reproduction and everything to do with reflecting on products imbued with qualities from a prior generation. It’s a fair comment that finely engraved logos and badges have hung around or been newly crafted as an artifact of another era for eons. This recent season of marks has however been riddled with ever greater numbers of logos of exactly this ilk. A fair assumption is two things have converged for this to occur. Firstly there has been an entrepreneurial rush over the last several years to provide curated and/or small batch products and services that counter the behemoths. Secondly, there have been a number of capable illustrators and designers cutting their teeth on gin bottles and chocolate boxes with exactly this style. Now they are fueled up and ready to deliver. Quality levels and styles vary from naive to highly honed and sophisticated but all transport the consumer to an intangible place.


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