Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Apologies to Her Majesty

In my excitement for the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements, it has come to my attention that I completely bypassed design of the Victorian Era. My apologies to Her Majesty, considering this period of the 19th into 20th centuries was kind of a big deal. (Slightly off topic but not completely, a movie came out about a year ago called The Young Victoria, starring the lovely Emily Blunt and the even lovely-er Rupert Friend, which tells the story of the real life romance between Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert. It is kind of amazing, if you are into that "petticoats and knickers-wearing tea drinkers" kind of genre.)

This is not the pseudo-Victorian (pronounced "Vic-tau-vian" by middle-aged Long Islanders) unofficial design movement in suburban architectural design of the mid-1990s, where ranch style homes built in 1945 somehow received gingerbread embellishments and wrap-around porches, and whose interiors smelt of potpourri and doilies. Maybe I am the only person bothered by this, but I digress. Meanwhile, back in 19th century Britannia....

The Industrial Revolution brought with it innovations in production, printing, and photography. Among these are the commercialization of chromolithography, or color printing, which became more efficient and economical during this period. If you are a graphic design student like me, you will understand the importance of color printing when you are waiting on line at the 24 hour Kinkos trying to print your tetra pak juice box packaging at 3 in the AM, after the Xerox wide format inkjet at school ran out of magenta. So thank you Victorians!

What I am taking a very long time to get to is the packaging design of this period. With the multitude of new manufactured goods, packaging was needed to contain and sell them. The Victorians made use of new technologies like chromolithography to print on tin for food and tobacco products. Advances in printing technology allowed for the intricate details on type and embellishments popular during this period. I found a beautiful example of this tin packaging on The Dieline.

I have noticed a lot of current packaging that references this Victorian aesthetic. I went to the Tea & Coffee Festival in New York this past weekend (as a true tea weirdo) where I stocked up on some absolutely delicious Harney & Sons loose teas. They are packaged in these beautiful printed tins, much like their Victorian counterparts, and feature the same attention to detail in terms of type and decoration.

I am embarking on a new project. I am going to try and create my own drop cap for each (or at least some posts) and try and relate the design of each to the post's content. For this one, I tried to incorporate some of the ornate, floral-like details present on the Victorian packaging.


  1. omg omg omgomgmogmogommogmgomogmogmogmogmogmogmog mgmogmgmog you're making your own drop caps you are amazing amamamamziiaxngniagkjnsdgfdnsfsnifdf

  2. Hahahaha why thank you my dear....P.S. do you wanna finish my 3D project? Because YOU are amazing. K thanks.