- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 20, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780811851435
- ISBN-13: 978-0811851435
- ASIN: 0811851435
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,253,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Striking Images: Vintage Matchbook Cover Art Paperback – April 20, 2006
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About the Author
Monte Beauchamp is the founder and publisher of the visual creativity annual BLAB! and editor of New & Used BLAB! (0-8118-4026-3). His work has appeared in numerous publications, and he is the recipient of five New York Festival Awards for excellence in print communications. He lives and works in Chicago.
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The selected artworks run the gamut from restaurants to mascot characters to cars to strip clubs. There's a whole chapter devoted to inspiring, art deco imagery from World War II, any one of which would make a great poster.
Given the limitations of the medium and the printing budget, many of the matchbooks are designed with just two or three colors, making this a textbook for the graphics arts student. In an era in which any ink jet printer can reproduce millions of colors, it's fascinating to see what yesterday's artisans did with such a limited palette.
Some of the matchbook covers are close to actual size while others are blown up to fill the page. Given that there are as many as four pictures on some pages and the book totals 272 pages, there are in excess of 500 pieces of art reproduced here. It's impossible to find a favorite among so many gems.
If you're looking for a good summer book to enjoy at the beach, prepare yourself to read "Close cover before striking" a few hundred times. But if you want to soak your eyeballs in America's rich graphic heritage, Striking Images is a must have.
However I was rather disappointed in the book because of its production. The main problem is that every matchbook has been reduced to a square of either the front or back and then presented butted up (mostly) four to a page so they hardly look like matchbooks at all. It's as if a book about stamps had all the perforations cut off and then joined together. Many are shown whole page, making them too big and over-emphasising the crude printing quality. The book really ends up looking like a collection of badly printed, colorful and exuberant, advertising graphics. Though divided into eight sections there are no page numbers except on the chapter openers and with the covers crammed into all the pages it is annoyingly difficult to find a particular section.
It could have looked so much better like the earlier Chronicle Matchbook Art by Yosh Kashiwabara. Here many of the matchbooks have their front and back shown but the main thing is that they have plenty of page space surrounding each one. Another book: Close Cover Before Striking: The Golden Age of Matchcover Art (Recollectibles) is a handsomely designed title with thirteen chapters of well presented covers. Both books show how fascinating these throw-way bits of art are.
***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover,