Thursday, 28 April 2011

Packaging Style in Brunei

I'm an advertiser's dream.  I'm so easily swayed into making purchases based almost solely on the attractiveness of the item's packaging.  Brunei - indeed, most of Asia - is great for retro-styled supermarket items, and I can occasionally be found roaming the aisles of local supermarkets with my camera in order to capture them!

Here's some Andy-Warhol-style displays of tins.  It amuses me that the Sardines are 'Ayam' brand...  Ayam means chicken in Malay!

Tinned mushrooms always seem to have lovely labels here.  There are often some strange-looking mushrooms inside the tins too.

Rose syrup - love it or hate it, it's found everywhere here.  It tastes like liquid Turkish Delight.  I'm solidly in the 'love it' camp, and particularly enjoy it mixed with crushed ice and condensed milk (known for some reason as an 'ABC').   This is the only brand I'll buy... obviously because of the sheer beauty of its label!

And then there are the items bought so that I could keep the fabulous tins.   These Lucky Spot crackers are OK to eat (if a little bland and uninteresting), but the tin is now used for storing home-made biscuits.

My lovely Shake Hand Brand curry powder tin is now a pencil tin on the computer desk.  Look at the fabulous retro-font that they've used for 'Curry Powder'.  This is actually very tasty too and we use it a lot.

This tape tin is from school.  I asked for some more sellotape for my classroom and it was brought down from the office in this marvellous tin!  Again, superb retro-styling - and just the right size for a kitchen utensils holder.

I'm not quite alone in this fascination for packaging...  An author and cookbook write who shares the love is Jake Tilson.  I first heard of him when I picked up a copy of his book Twelve Kitchens in TK Maxx, at some ridiculously cheap price.  The book is beautifully written with some lovely recipes, but more to the point is beautifully presented in a collage style, and includes many photographs of gorgeous packaging.  Some pages can be seen here on Jake's website


nic @ nipitinthebud said...

Sometimes I think the thought and money that goes into packaging is a waste of time and then other times I come across a tin of something that is so charming I'm sorely tempted to buy it regardless of the contents!
The Robert Opie Collection used to be housed at Gloucester Docks and it was a great shame when it was sold and moved. It's great fun browsing their site though and you can order postcards and metal signs of some of the food packaging from a bygone era,

Norm said...

I'm very sad that I never made it to the Robert Opie collection when it was in Gloucester Nic. All those years that I lived in Ross - so close - and I didn't visit. I must try to get to it in London some day.

Ruthdigs said...

I love these tins too! I hadn't come across Jake Tilson before - another to put on the wish list!! You'd probably like Graham Rawle's style: He's not a cook though. I love old cookbooks for the style as well as the social comment/history you can get from them. I have a book that's a collection of the own brand recipes you get on the back of packets - that's fun.

Norm said...

Ruth, thank you so much for reminding me about Graham Rawle - I recognised the name but couldn't think of how I knew him... then I saw the Lost Consonants! Sheer genius.

Do you know Anne Taintor too? Look her up - she's my favourite.

I love old cookbooks too - in fact I think I blogged about my collection a couple of years ago (can probably be found on a blog-search about 'Retro Cookbooks'.

snowy said...

I did see the Opie collection in Gloucester - wonderfully nostalgic. Also saw one on the south coast - Eastbourne I think.My favourite tins are biscuit tins. I love old cookbooks too.

spontaneous-euphoria said...

you have a wonderful creative eye! I've never thought about regular supermarket food packaging but with your pictures- I see how artsy they can be!