Friday, 8 May 2009

Some Anthropomorphic Symbols

All images in this post are from the wonderful Symbols of Australia by Mimmo Cozzolino and Fysh Rutherford, first published in 1980. It has since been re-issued several times and is still available, including here. I don't own a copy, but I borrow it from the library time to time. Interestingly, each time I am drawn to different symbols. Above: Happy Foot: a foot powder symbol from 1925. The Keene Co., London.

Above: The lovely moustached Edwardian man seems to have been plonked onto the duck's body, but it works: he makes rather a handsome mandrake. Label dated 1919. B. Herbert, Sydney.

Above: Toppy Toppa. Toppa Ice Creams Ltd., Melbourne, 1952. Now that is a clever use for a "ribbon device".


Above: The Cricket Match. Sweden, c.1903. Double wordplay there: clearly it takes a non-cricket playing, non English speaking culture to note that. This one is for my cricket loving friend Kate Constable.


Above: This is where the anthropomorphic thing doesn't quite work. Art director asks "Could you please do that fashionable anthropomorphic thing with this box, and turn it into a lady?" Even Handy Ann looks bemused by her pathetic little square chest. Lever Bros. Ltd, Sydney. Perfumed soap, 1910.


This is where it does work. Above: 'Screw Man': the symbol that must have sparked my interest in these strange little anthropomorphic beings. I was so terrified of him when I was a kid that every time I would see him in my father's workshop on that little blue box, I would make a run for it. (Ditto that scary Michelin Man.) Funny how the things that you fear end up taking over your life. Sidney Cooke Pty. Ltd. Melbourne. Metal fasteners; 1940 version. Designed by Paton Advertising Services.

1 comment:

What Kate did next ... said...

Thank you for my cricket(er)! Isn't he elegant. He looks a little tall to be a truly effective batsman though.