another wonderful Japanese matchbox label

All cartoonists love those Japanese matchbox labels– or they should!matchboxlabelcatpeoplejapanAre those cats or cat people?  I don’t know, but they are clearly very serene, there on their balcony above the rooftops.  Of course, who wouldn’t be, if we were part of such a well designed, well crafted piece of printing.  Please make your day better by clicking on the image to see a larger version.  The level of detail and the quality of the registration are first rate.  If you want to learn how to use solid ink to create a variety of textures and a full range of tones, you can find a dozen good examples here, from dots to hatching to pen strokes that emulate the cut lines of a woodcut knife.  (I refuse to believe that this actually is a two block woodcut, not with the fine linework and the impeccable registration, but I would dearly love to be proved wrong.)   I’m nuts about the scroll at the top, too, and the decorations at the upper corners.

This basic composition would make a wonderful comics cover. I would be proud to swipe it, and I probably will.  And, of course, if anyone would like to provide a translation, I would be glad to pass it along.

(I collect all kinds of interesting, beautiful and intriguing images on tumblr, at the Coelacanth Gallery.  This one comes from one of my favorite tumblr blogs, the one run by Mudwerks.)

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One Response to another wonderful Japanese matchbox label

  1. Wolfie says:

    Well, they may be made in Japan, but the characters are Chinese (reading them right to left, they mean “silk”, “kid”, “west”, and “go”). It’s doubtless the name of the match company, but how you pronounce them in Chinese is beyond me.

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