348. Matchbooks - A Poweful Advertising Medium. 
Jul 30, 2011 at 01:50PM

I love this vintage catalog for ordering custom-printed matchbooks. I found this little gem a bit further below the embroidery typography book that Imprint linked to earlier in the week, and I'm glad I kept scrolling. Sure, like the straw post below, it's a small thing the matchbook, but this piece harkens back to a simple time. A time when matchbooks were a "powerful, result-producing advertising medium." Ker-pow. That's not just a matchbook in your pocket, it's a piece of strategically-defined communication. Respect.

If you wanted to customize your matchbook - you were certainly in luck. The catalog is crammed full of options, from stipple ink stock art to printing on the actual matches. Inside printing, matchheads, stems and striking surfaces could also be tweaked to your individual tastes and to tell your 'convincing story'. The supplier even had a skilled Art Department should you find all the normal, pre-packaged options to be unsuited for your marketing needs. (Can you imagine working at a matchbook art department?) They would have created a unique and distinctive cover for you, which might have included: dynamic layouts, specialized lettering (?), beautiful color schemes, and eye-catching illustrations. Imagine the possibilities!

I have to admit, I'm pretty fond of this wood-grain design:

You Can't Beat This: Matchless Games!

Perhaps my favorite option is the Super King Size 240's. Your business surely meant business if you were passing these monsters out. 

And remember, matchbook advertising doesn't cost. It pays. Dot. Dot. Dot.

Download the whole cataglog via Public Collectors, which is itself a pretty cool deal. They exist to make some collections that would ordinarily be lost, available to the public. "Public Collectors is founded upon the concern that there are many types of cultural artifacts that public libraries, museums and other institutions and archives either do not collect or do not make freely accessible. Public Collectors asks individuals that have had the luxury to amass, organize, and inventory these materials to help reverse this lack by making their collections public." Cool, eh? You can find them on Tumblr too.

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