Friday, 29 April 2011

One Question Interview #25: Simon Gärdenfors

Photo: Gusten

Much like eating a fun-size Snickers on a diet, today's One Question Interview may a little tiny bit of a cheat. Ever since Swedish cartoonist/ musician/ TV personality Simon Gärdenfors' gave us a glimpse of his extensive candy packaging collection during our interview promoting The 120 Days of Simon  last year, we've been filled with confectionery curiosity. Recently launching a Kickstarter project for a cartoon starring a popcorn judoka, and currently working on an graphic memoir which takes its visual cues from classic candy wrappers, it's clear that to understand Gärdenfors, you must  understand the inside of his cupboards.

Unfortunately, when we came to him to ask for his list top ten wrappers, boxes, and sachets, he told us that Swedish website Preview 11 had already beaten us to it. Fortunately, those forward-thinking question-nappers are allowing us to post the list in English here. Hoorah!

What are your ten favourite examples of candy packaging?

#1: Double Dip 
- Sherbet (UK)

The charmingly hateful characters make my heart melt. The silliness of the packaging combined with the colours make it magic. It has new packaging now, and it’s not attractive at all—the characters are drawn in a way that is just not pleasant.

#2: Burbu Soda
 - Sherbet with chilli (Mexico)

It’s basic and beautiful with just a few colours. Keeps it simple.

#3: Cisco
 - Cereal (Japan)

I think it’s from the 60s—I bought it in a specialty store in Tokyo. Genuinely airbrushed! Characters!

#4: Chira Chira Chocolate

I believe that it’s from around the 50s. The clown's charming smile speaks for itself. Bought in the same store were I bought Cisco.

#5: Butter-Nut

The box design is from the 1930s, it contains 24 candy-bars. Really hot gouache illustrations, pale colours and hand-drawn typography. Bought it at Economy Candy in Manhattan, last spring.

Photo: Gusten

#6: 本 日语
 - Gum machine (Japan)

A mini-gum machine from Japan. Packaging can often be extra nice when you don’t understand it—when you can’t interpret the letters or characters, typography just becomes pure symbols in the brain. Here, I get only what the illustration depicts.

#7: Chipileta
 - Sherbet with chilli (Mexico).

Most candy from Mexico contains chillies. The package is not as simple and stylish as Burbu Soda, but the mis-print, the stripes and the happy squirrel give it extra points.

#8: Non Stop - Chocolate bar (Sweden)

The colours and simple style give this package a place on the list. It is the only Scandinavian candy I have in my collection, too—maybe because I have some sort of domestic blindness. I have to put this in the fridge so the chocolate does not melt—best before 01/27/2006. I bought this because I thought that they would probably change the packaging. Sure enough, a few weeks later, it received new, uglier packaging with Photoshop gradients.

#9: Tubble Gum
 - Chewing gum (France)

I’ve always liked pink bubblegum aesthetics. I have four different kinds of Tubble Gum. These feature a variation of the baseball cap wearing boy that I remember from childhood. I don't have that one in my collection though. It's probably the package I miss the most.

#10: Milky - 
Chocolate Candy (Japan)

This design just gets everything right. I liked it so much that I plagiarized it for the cover of my comic book Lura mig!.

A very sincere "tack så mycket" goes out to Simon (Gusten, and Preview 11), for providing the translated list. For more Gärdenfors goodness, head on over to his blog, or, for follow this link for Paco the Judo Popcorn-specific updates.

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