I’ve been geeking out on this for some time, (years, actually— truth be told. is that sad?)
… and I finally found a company that is been in this business for long enough to know how these were made old school style. After researching 60+ years worth of styles, color palettes, fonts & graphics, we are proud to announce the birth of the most humble of our little camp projects.
THE MATCHBOOK (aka: OCD designed & created to be historically accurate down to the staple)
They cost pennies a piece, but served as the single biggest point of advertising for business of every size.
We found a guy who equally geeks out on matchbook collecting. (check out his pinterest boards). And after an hour on the phone talking about the history of their printing methods, stock options, etc. I knew he was the one for us.
Some tricks we employed to produce these in the most historically accurate way possible:
* flip the stock. (literally- printint them ‘inside out’ allowed the dull stock on the exterior, just like the good ole’ days
* stone lithography ink overlay. (to emulate the process historically used, we screened the litho texture into every part of the artwork)
* went pantone-crazy. a 1950s read was more coral. blues had a teal hue. whites aged to creme. we employed spent way too much time with a pantone chip book to get this right.
* black heads & red tips on a ’20-striker’. this was the most common, practical, cheap stock method for matchbooks back in Wandawega’s hey day. what works for us, works for them.
* most importantly, we found the source (right in Texas, actually) who still makes them, (so our spine reads: PROUDLY MADE IN THE U.S.A BY THE MATCH BOOK.
front panel: HAMMS beer ad
spine: WANDAWEGA font (we found on an old 1940s camp wandawega brochure)
back panel: FISHING PINUP (actual clip art stock for matchbooks from the 50’s)
inside panel: maps, directions, attractions and ‘claim to fame’. (the most popular content for these things back then)