A few years ago, I purchased a binder of old matchbox labels at a local flea market. There were around 80 labels—enough to ignite an interest in searching for more to add to my collection. Ebay was the logical option, but I did not expect to find an amazing haul of literally hundreds of labels! I placed a low bid, certain that I would have lots of competition... but it went unnoticed and I was victorious. When the stash arrived, there were so very many labels that I didn't know what to do with it all and have been saving these piles for a special project.
Inspired by these small labels, I put an open call for submissions for readers to reinterpret the messages and aesthetics of the old labels but with a modern twist. The response was terrific a there are four pages of reader submissions published in the new Issue #8. (I'll be creating a flickr pool so that you can see all the submisions.) In tandem with the reader artwork, I thought it would be fun to include an actual authentic label in each subscriber's magazine. So I decided to part with the collection of labels and disperse them among my readers as a thank you for your fine support of UPPERCASE magazine.
Thank you to the people at Printcrafters for manually inserting each label on the first page of the magazine! We had a nice surprise, too—there were actually hundreds more labels that the ebay listing had advertised and therefore many more copies of the magazine have the special inclusion than I initially anticipated. (But if you're not a subscriber yet, I recommend starting yours quickly to ensure you get a label.)
I've commemorated my former collection by scanning some of the best examples and posting them to a flickr set. I've saved a few for an exhibition that opens this Thursday, but the majority of the labels that you see on flickr are off to subscribers around the world!
And if an authentic label isn't enough of a goodie, each magazine has a letterpress insert as well! (see my previous post.)