The Magnet 055: Cool Collections
Pin-back buttons, matchbox covers, decision-makers, fancy fonts, and infinities
In this issue, I’m sharing five different collections of things. Enjoy!
Pin-back buttons (called “badges” in the UK) have been around since the late 1800s. I wish I still had the punk buttons I attached to my skinny tie in the 1980s, but they have become lost to time.
Buttons are a fascinating challenge for designers — how do you communicate a message with just a simple graphic and a few words? I love going through the pages of Button Power, a fantastic picture book of over 1,500 buttons from the Busy Beaver Button Museum in Chicago, Illinois. Here’s a video flip-thru.
In a similar vein to the button museum mentioned above, is this Pinterest page of old matchbook cover art. Most of them are from Eastern Europe and range from 1950 to 1980 or so. The designers were challenged with creating attention-grabbing advertisements that looked good printed on cheap cardboard and just a couple of colors. I especially like the ones adverting fly poison. They would make great T-shirt designs! There’s also a book of over 400 Eastern Bloc matchbox labels from the 1950s to the early 1980s.