#21 New & Improved

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Here’s a BRAND NEW series for my marketing friends & colleagues, and just about anyone who remembers the slogans of yesteryear, many of which are still being printed, displayed & broadcast today. This slogan, tagline & adword series will continue throughout the year, along with other AmperArt editions each & every month.

Adding relevance to this edition, AmperArt subscribers (those who receive each edition as it’s released, absolutely free — subscribe here) will notice a New & Improved newsletter design.

This edition, New & Improved, was created to replicate off-register letterpress printing that you’d see on old cereal & sundry boxes, debossed into the soft cardboard from the heavy printing machinery & oozing the ink into adjacent colors. When you enlarge the image (click on the thumbnail) you’ll see the gigantic halftone dots (Benday screen, actually) used when printing was a cruder process & photo shop was a course you took in high school to learn how to use a camera.

New but NOT Improved

Not everything that’s new is improved, even though the obnoxious starburst on the label says so.

Remember last year’s AmperArt series, “My Favorite Things”? One of my favorite all-time flavors is that strong & bitter iron tinge of Ovaltine, especially when crunching into all the undissolved granules that float to the top after stirring & stirring & stirring with cold milk. Those granules had deliciously concentrated flavor that exploded when you bit into them.

Several years ago I noticed a brand new logo & label on some of the shelf’s Ovaltine jars, alongside the old packaging. I wasn’t that impressed with the new look, but it did trigger a yearning for that familiar flavor & crunch. So I bought one & couldn’t wait to get home.

New? Yes. Improved? No! No! No! The packaging certainly had changed, but it did not mention that the contents had also. It tasted flat, like plain old powdered chocolate, no iron bite at all, & NO CRUNCH. The powder completely dissolved in the milk. Upon closer inspection I discovered the “granules” were not actually compressed “rocks” like the old Ovaltine, but rather puffy globules of the powdered stuff–kind of like cat litter when it gets wet. Only that would taste better than this new bastardized pseudo-Ovaltine.

So I grabbed my jar, rushed back to the market, traded in that one for one of the old models, and proceeded to pull every one of my cherished original Ovaltine jars off the shelf & purchased every one. There must have been 20 or so. Now I couldn’t wait to get home again to wash that horrible “new” flavor out of my mouth & replace it with the Ovaltine of Old.

Guess what? Old packaging, new product. No! No! No! I returned every jar & have not tasted the wonderful flavor nor felt the incredible crunch of Ovaltine ever since. I heard there’s a product in Europe that’s like my childhood memories, so I look forward to tasting that deliciously disgusting iron-tinged chocolate flavor once again. Till then, Nestle’s Strawberry Quick…while it’s still not new & not improved.

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Original size: 20×30 inches
Programs: Illustrator, Photoshop
Fonts: Balloon, Franklin


Enjoy & share...

Chaz DeSimone

Design. Dancing. Disneyland. Modernism. Nudism. Black Cats or any other color.

5 thoughts on “#21 New & Improved

  1. Chaz,

    This is great! I LOVE the nostalgic colors and lettering. And your comments make me laugh…so, true! This has happened to me, too, and “new & improved” products are a real disappointment everyone can appreciate. I’m with you….the old Ovaltine was outstanding!

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