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Chinese Labels.

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by LabelKing, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    I have recently discovered the aesthetic nuances of Chinese branded products; they are extremely retro and authentic to boot. They have none of that contrived irony of Occidental "retro-centrism" and they take it all in seriousness--like Edith Sitwell's humour. All the labels are haphazard, cheaply applied and are so outdated, it's not even funny; however, the design palettes are exceptionally Socialist with vague references to Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Soviet Stalinism, Modernism and patently autocratic State Bureaus. It's all very obscure and slightly decrepit. You just can't make this up. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    there was a guy from hong kong i went to college with, he had a tube of this (with the old label, not the new one). we laughed when we saw it, then recommended he not leave it sitting out on the communal bathroom sink. this was about 15 years ago. he said it was very popular toothpaste back home.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Yes, there is such a brand there however its name and logo got changed not due to the native peoples but from complaints by Westerners. There are no pretenses towards political correctness in Asia.

    I think the name arose from the perception that Africans had exceptionally white teeth.

    What passes for general amiable conversation in say, Shanghai would pass muster only in 1965 America. And then some considering the Jewish and Caucasian commentaries. Foreign devils, of course.
     
  4. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    plus there's the added irony of the stereotype of the chinese ganky teeth. [​IMG]
     
  5. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Doubly ironic is that the Chinese attribute that to the Japanese.
     
  6. whoopee

    whoopee Senior member

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    Darlie/Darkie was founded by a British businessman in HK. There is also a white man's toothpaste being sold.
     
  7. acidboy

    acidboy Senior member

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    there was a guy from hong kong i went to college with, he had a tube of this (with the old label, not the new one). we laughed when we saw it, then recommended he not leave it sitting out on the communal bathroom sink. this was about 15 years ago. he said it was very popular toothpaste back home.
    [​IMG] call it un-pc. i went to taiwan 20 years ago for summer school and saw this when it was still called darkie. thing is, we have another kid with us, kinda dark-skinned chinese, who smiles like the darkie man, and we were calling him darkie that whole summer. poor kid! (of course if you can read chinese, the chinese label for darkie/darlie is literally: black man!) here's my share: gu-long pork leg with mushroom. cant imagine how a picture of a whole butchered pig's leg in a bowl would attract your average housewife. but that product is quite popular. [​IMG]
     
  8. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    The best examples are the Wine Labels, which are staunchly outdated much like the onionskin stationary that the government uses that has the official crest as a letterhead, slightly faded even new. It all looks like New Old Stock from the '60s.

    However, it seems to me that advertising in China is less about marketing than just showcasing forthwright and mostly unflattering photographic depictions of what's inside.
     
  9. acidboy

    acidboy Senior member

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    btw, labelking: if you're interested, i bought this book which discussed the designs of the old and classic chinese medicine labels and packagings: [​IMG] Hong Kong Apothecary: A Visual History of Chinese Medicine Packaging http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/156...lance&n=283155
     
  10. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    That book looks quite compelling.

    There are never enough books to satisfy obscure tastes. I'm waiting for someone to do a complete book on Cold War era Middle-Eastern hotels. There's one about Hiltons but its too exclusionary.
     
  11. 4Mica

    4Mica Senior member

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  12. Matt

    Matt Senior member

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    there was a guy from hong kong i went to college with, he had a tube of this (with the old label, not the new one). we laughed when we saw it, then recommended he not leave it sitting out on the communal bathroom sink. this was about 15 years ago. he said it was very popular toothpaste back home. http://www.toothpasteworld.com/images/big/darkies.jpg
    hey thats what I use (seriously) [​IMG]
     
  13. designprofessor

    designprofessor Senior member

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    I love them and reference them in my own work.
    There was a nice take on them by Shanghai Tang some years ago.
     
  14. Matt

    Matt Senior member

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    I love them and reference them in my own work.
    There was a nice take on them by Shanghai Tang some years ago.

    as touristy as it is, I kinda like Shanghai Tang
     
  15. Matt

    Matt Senior member

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    hehehe - from the terrific and soon to die noodlepie blog.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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