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Vintage Produce Labels - An Antique Art Form

The rise of stock photography has diminished the use of illustration in modern times, in publishing and especially in advertising. At the same time, changes in the way goods are distributed have turned some old-fashioned types of packaging into valuable antiques.

This article at describes how, for many years, produce was shipped all over the country in wooden crates, and displayed in those same crates in grocery stores. Growers would attach colorful printed labels to the crates, to draw the attention of shoppers, and also to promote their brands. Cardboard cartons eventually replaced the wooden crates, and these produce labels, along with cigar boxes, beer trays and other types of promotional goods and packaging, have become desired collectables.

Many of these vintage labels are compelling works of art, like the ones featured in this article at The images are beautifully rendered, compelling, and sometimes funny. I made this vintage-style label for "Cajun Belle Louisiana Yams" as a gift, and enjoyed trying to replicate the look of the classic produce labels that I researched for the project. You can see the examples I found here.

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