F-Zero Match Factory
F-Zero Match Factory

The Stickers on the Advertising Matchbox Are Also Beautiful Works of Art

The sticker on the advertising matchbox has a nickname called "spark". This kind of mini art is one of the world's five collection systems (stamps, sparks, coins, cigarette labels and wine labels). It is very similar to stamps and covers everything in every square inch.


Jane McDevitt and Neal Whittington, who lived in the UK, prepared a book about advertising matchboxes, in which the collection of spark series is special, all from the Eastern bloc (the Western camp's call for the former socialist countries in central and Eastern Europe during the cold war).

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Jane is a website designer and Neal is the founder of Present & Correct, a creative stationery store. They both love sparks very much. The matchbloc created by the two people is used to publish their collection of advertising matchbox photos.

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It's interesting to read their posts. A few words marked on the advertising matchboxes are mostly rare Czech, polish and Russian. Jane and Neal usually rely on Google translate for annotation. Sometimes when they feel that their words are too vague, they will ask for help in the picture notes. Although there are not many replies, someone will always come forward for emergency every time. But even if you can't understand any of the above words, it doesn't matter. You can understand a general idea by simply reading the picture.

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These advertising matchboxes are well preserved, with some rough texture on the surface, which can still be clearly presented. What is more surprising is that although the content is mostly national themes or advertising, simple lines and colors outline a variety of vivid patterns in the narrow picture.


For example, a giraffe sticking its head out of the window was used in the paint advertisement, a hedgehog was painted in the match advertisement, and an elephant was selected in the circus advertisement.

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The theme of the space race also played down the intention to emphasize national strength because of the excellent graphic design such as this advertising matchbox to celebrate the successful launch of the world's first unmanned lunar probe Luna 2 by the Soviet Union.

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There are also some special contents, such as reminding people to be careful when crossing the road, not stirring vegetables when cooking (although I don't understand why), asking people to pay attention to protecting their teeth and loving reading, etc.

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Together with the background of the cold war, these sparks are like small windows, which can let people peek into history, and perhaps enrich people's understanding of the totalitarian society with their vibrant creativity.

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