#21 New & Improved

 

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 devel­op film & make out in the darkroom.

 

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.

If you’re an amper­sand fan sub­scribe here for free & fab­u­lous & fun month­ly editions.

PRODUCTION NOTES
Original size: 20x30 inches
Programs: Illustrator, Photoshop
Fonts: Balloon, Franklin
Ampersand: Balloon

CREDITS:
Ovaltine: Facebook 1970s Group 

 

#34 Kettles & Mittens

Amper­Art #34 is the sec­ond line of lyrics that contains “and” in the song My Favorite Things from the 1960 musi­cal and the 1965 film, The Sound of Music:
 

Rain­drops on ros­es & whiskers on kittens
Bright cop­per ket­tles & warm woolen mittens
Brown paper pack­ages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things


Cream col­ored ponies & crisp apple streudels

Door­bells & sleigh bells & schnitzel with noodles

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings

These are a few of my favorite things


Girls in white dress­es with blue satin sashes

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

Sil­ver white win­ters that melt into springs

These are a few of my favorite things


When the dog bites

When the bee stings

When I’m feel­ing sad

I sim­ply remem­ber my favorite things

& then I don’t feel so bad

 

This is a col­lec­tion of four edi­tions, each fea­tur­ing a line from the song that includes the word “and” which of course we replace with our favorite charac­ter, the ampersand.

Each edi­tion in this series will be released a week apart. You must sub­scribe to receive high-​resolution pdf files so you can cre­ate beau­ti­ful prints (11×17 or 8.5×11 inch­es). Sub­scrip­tions are free & you will receive your print down­loads by email. You’ll find sug­ges­tions on print­ing and fram­ing here.

Con­cept & design notes:

In research­ing the style to use for this art­work I found one of the orig­i­nal movie posters, sam­pled the col­ors from which I chose a lim­it­ed palette (I did not use blue as that would be your per­fect mat in a nice frame), select­ed the appro­pri­ate type­styles & hand-​drew the amper­sand, styl­iz­ing it to resem­ble the main title in the poster.

Pink & yel­low kettles?

Have you ever seen a shiny new pen­ny in the sun­shine? It alter­nates between a gold­en yel­low and a bril­liant pink. Togeth­er, or when not direct­ly reflect­ing the sun­shine, it’s a bright cop­per. That’s why this edi­tion sug­gests cop­per through pink and yellow. 
 
If that does­n’t make sense, let’s just say the left­over mit­tens right after Black Fri­day were yel­low with pink pol­ka dots.

The amper­sand not only con­nects rain­drops and kit­tens and ket­tles and ponies and door­knobs, it also links the last two lines of the song, which appear on all four lay­outs at very top and very bottom.

To fur­ther research this piece, I real­ly enjoyed watch­ing the movie! If you ever need a joy­ful lift & a lit­tle humor, this is the movie to see. It’s won­der­ful & timeless.

If you love the amper­sand sub­scribe to Amper­Art here to receive future Amper­Art edi­tions. They’re always fun & fab­u­lous & free. Sub­scribers also receive spe­cial bonus­es.

#22 Mother & Child

Happy Mothers Day

 .

Amper­Art #22 Moth­er & Child

.

I can still feel my soft yel­low baby blan­ket with the satin embroi­dery and pas­tel col­ors, cradling me so lov­ing­ly in my moth­er’s arms.

This Amper­Art piece, “Moth­er & Child,” hon­ors that very spe­cial woman who brought each and every one of us into this world.

If you are a moth­er your­self, I wish you a Very Hap­py Moth­er’s Day.

My amazing mother

I am proud to tell you how blessed I am to have been born into the arms of such a won­der­ful moth­er as Leona L. DeS­i­mone, 1916 – 2001.

Though I felt her love as an infant, as a child I favored my dad who spoiled me (being the first­born) while Mom tried to instill some dis­ci­pline. Dad­dy would buy me toys and bring home good­ies for me all the time, and I resent­ed my mom for being the strict one.

Not until after our dad died when I was 10, did I real­ize what a tremen­dous job our moth­er had try­ing to keep us all in line. I gained the deep­est respect and love for my mom, espe­cial­ly since we were rather poor and she some­how kept us fed, clothed, and the house in order. I remem­ber her cry­ing when she was short of mon­ey, count­ing pen­nies to pay the bills, and walk­ing miles to work when the bus­es went on strike. She did an amaz­ing job rais­ing four kids all by her­self, includ­ing an espe­cial­ly spoiled brat who drew all over the walls with Crayolas (guess who).

Always smiling

Mom always had a smile for every­one, and she proved to be more pop­u­lar and loved than any of her chil­dren knew, when over 200 peo­ple showed up for her funer­al. We were blown away! We had the organ­ist play the lul­la­by she used to sing to us, “All Through the Night,” which you can lis­ten to here.

I admire, respect, and love you, Mom.