September 11, 2012
Similar to beer cans with graphics depicting the beer contained inside (see: Naked ACME) is the idea of a cigarette pack design, showing rows of cigarettes contained in the pack.
In previous posts I’ve cited Robert Brownjohn as the originator of this idea in his 1961 design proposal for Bachelor Cigarettes. (One of his comp packages is shown above, right.)
Recently, however, I discovered an earlier precedent for the same idea: Continental Tobacco’s “Cigarette Time” brand. Continental Tobacco Co. was a subsidiary of Philip Morris. “Cigarette Time” was trademarked in 1935 and this packaging was in use at least as far back as the 1940s. (The “Vintage Sealed Cigarette Time Mentholated Pack of Cigarettes Series #107” shown above left recently sold on eBay for $37.67)
One thing that the unknown designer of Continental Tobacco’s “Cigarette Time” pack didn’t do, was to use the same orthographic graphic design at the ends of the pack, the way Brownjohn later did in his 1961 designs…
Photos of “Cigarette Time” cigarette packs are from eBay and Worthpoint; photos of Robert Brownjohn’s “Bachelor Cigarettes” packs are from Emily King’s book, Robert Brownjohn: Sex and Typography: 1925-1970 Life and Work.