Since I published the playing card roundup, I’ve come across two more things that I wish I had shared! One is a set of early 20th century Japanese postcards, and the other is the identity for a new wine brand.
One of my favorite parts about doing an internship at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston last summer was the walk into the building every day. The hallway of the employee entrance was lined with beautiful posters that I soon learned were late 19th-early 20th century Japanese postcards enlarged to poster size – the museum had hosted an exhibit on them in 2004. When I completed my internship, I chose the book on this exhibit to take home with me. As a whole, the collection is a really fascinating mixture of the imagery of traditional Japanese woodblock prints and that of “modern” Western society. More of these will show up in later posts for sure!
These four postcards were sold as a set by the publisher Sakuraiya. They were part of a series titled “Youth,” but it’s unclear if this was the entire series or if there were more images. The artist, Kobayashi Kaichi, created these woodblock prints sometime between 1912 and 1940, and frequently incorporated playing card motifs into his designs. The MFA’s collection of Japanese postcards, which was donated by the art collector Lenonard A. Lauder in 2002, includes several of Kobayashi Kaichi’s sets – I especially like the “Evening of Sorrow,” “Blue Birds,” and “Flowers of Darkness” series.
As for JAQK Cellars (get it? Jack, Ace, Queen, King?), their awesome identity was developed by San Francisco’s Hatch Design. Hatch created an entire line of wines, packaging, signage, and advertisements… as well as a website and items like a limited edition set of playing cards. Definitely take a look at the whole range, but to give you an idea of what they ended up with, here’s a glimpse of two wines:
Hatch got a lot of online coverage for this – you can find links to several articles below in the “for more information” section. I particularly enjoyed Grain Edit‘s interview (link below), as it included questions about the process of developing this brand and pictures of their sketches and mockups. I love seeing all the work that goes into creating a final design, and the inspiration for this project is really cool to look at too:
Have you seen any interesting uses of playing cards lately?
1. Clockwise from top left: Ace of Hearts, Ace of Spades, Ace of Diamonds, and Ace of Clubs.
All: Kobayashi Kaichi/Sakuraiya, “Youth” Series, Taisho-early Showa era, Museum of Fine Arts Boston.
2. All: Hatch Design for JAQK Cellars, images via Graphic Exchange.
3. All: Hatch Design for JAQK Cellars, images via Graphic Exchange/Grain Edit
I'm Kate, and this is where I write about printmaking, art, and interesting things that I do and see... [more]
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