Quick and dirty

Quickies tin from 1930s

Shelf Appeal has been all about the paper recently. So when I found this small tin whilst putting away Christmas decorations, I thought I would get a bit dimensional.

I used to collect packaging. But watching my brothers house slowly turn itself into the second coming of Robert Opie sort of put me off. But I couldn’t quite seem to part with this little number. That picture on the lid is nothing if not a fashion illustration, complete with berets and a plaid skirt. Very similar to the little vignettes dotted across the pages of Vogue, or the tasty illustrative Jaeger advertising of the 1930s. Which probably explains why it is a lone (ish) packaging survivor on my shelf.

I found the thing in a box of tat at some Manchester flea market, I think. Years later, studying for an MPhil and getting very good use out of a staff pass for the National Art Library in the V&A (the best thing by far about that studying) I found a reference to it in a packaging magazine of 1938. I wasn’t looking for it but that is when you turn up things.

I really miss those V&A stacks. As far as the greedy design historian eye could see there were journals and books on designy things. I am pretty sure I got through every British Vogue up to about 1950. Art & Industry. Display. Architectural Review. Commercial Art. Graphis annuals galore. And only some little part of all that browsing was relevant to what I was actually supposed to be researching.

It seems they made a bigger Quickies tin, too. All the better for displaying on a shelf. All the better for seeing the nice illustration and sweet rope-like typeface used for the name. Not that I’d want two Quickie tins, you understand..

Quickies tin in packaging magazine


Frankie Roberto

I’m impressed that you managed to make it all the way through this blog post whilst resisting the urge to make a joke about the Quickies name… 😉

shelf appeal

This is a blog that takes design seriously, puns and jokes are not appropriate.The title of this post, refers, of course, to quick and dirty iterative user testing.


I’m really with you about the V&A stacks. It popped up on tv last night and for a short moment I became whistful about the wonders of having a backstage pass to the NAL, but then I remembered the rest of it and shuddered.

simon robinson's house

Cheek! I’ll have you know the displays are getting ever more tasteful and curated. 1500 vinyl albums disappeared out of my owner’s record room over Christmas too (into the office). And I’m down to just 11 pieces of Ercol in the living room… sincerely, your brother’s house.

shelf appeal

11 pieces of Ercol. And not SMALL pieces. Need I say more. Covered in packaging and pots, too..


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