The Vintage Art of Fruit Crate Labels
The Retrovert - All that's old and fit to print WPA poster Art WPA Poster art on shirts, posters, greeting cards, & coffee mugs Worlds Fair Art Worlds Fair shirts, posters, greeting cards & coffee mugs Fruit Crate label art Fruit crate label gifts Vintage sheet music graphics Retro Sheet Music covers Vintage Travel Poster Art Vintage Travel Poster art gifts Pulp Magazine Cover Art Pulp magazine cover gifts Vintage graphics calendars Vintage graphic art gifts WPA Poster T-Shirts WPA Poster Prints WPA Art Greeting Cards WPA Art coffee mugs Worlds Fair T-Shirts 1939 New York Worlds Fair Posters Worlds Fair Geeting Cards 1939 New York Worlds Fair Coffee Mugs Crate label art on T-shirts Fruit crate label posters Crate label greeting cards Fruit crate label coffee mugs Vintage sheet music illustrations on t-shirts Retro sheet music posters Vintage sheet music greeting cards Retro music coffee mugs Vintage Travel T-shirts Vintage Travel poster prints Retro Travel Poster Greeting Cards Pulp magazine cover t-shirts Pulp magazine cover posters Retro Pulp Magazine cover greeting cards Pulp magazine cover retro coffee mugs
The Vintage Art of Fruit Crate Labels

Your life may be what happens to you while you're waiting for your life to start happening, and our art may be what we've got when we're not thinking about art. The ancient Greeks didn't consider the visual arts to be "fine" arts, because uneducated slaves could be taught to paint and sculpt - yet that painting and sculpture, rediscovered, changed the history of western art during the Renaissance. So it could be that the things we take for granted - the everyday things that blend into the background - are art that will be remembered when we're not. Or even if we are.

Vegetable crate label for King Pelican Iceberg Lettuce

Take fruit and vegetable crate labels, for example. This is commercial art at its most humble: just a piece of paper that's stuck to a wooden box that holds a bunch of produce that'll go bad next week. I mean, think about it.

But give us a medium to work in and we'll do something with it, unless we're hacks. So the artists who designed these labels gave them everything they had - and then they probably found that they had to outdo each other.

Some of these show idyllic farm landscapes in some awfully nice places we know, in the fields of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in California; some show colorful characters and creatures; some are plays on the names of the farms that used them; some would be beautiful as paintings, and some were, and are, jokes.

Fruit crate label for Santa Barbara County Lemons

The lemons and oranges of California or Florida, the carrots and cabbages and sweet potatoes of who knows where, all needed just as much branding as an Internet startup. Here's how they tried to establish it. And if the farms are gone now, or consolidated, or plowed under for condominiums, it's just a lesson that those ancient Greeks weren't always right. Because this work is still worth looking at, which is what you should probably do next.

Use the links in the left (or lower) menu, below "Crate Labels", to see the tee shirts, coffee mugs, greeting cards and posters.