Saturday, October 6, 2007

Parliament Cigarettes

I dont smoke. Never have. I hate how exposure to a smoky venue makes my clothes and skin stink and my eyes and throat burn. I dont quite understand why people do it or how someone even ever invented it, but funny enough, I think it looks cool; as do certain brands.

The classic cigarette box that tends to be recognized as a design icon is without a doubt, Lucky Strike. This was designed by Raymond Loewy back in something like 1940 or so and truly has withstood the test of time. With logos like Shell, Exxon and Coca-Cola to his name, Lowey's genius was easily applied to the cigarette box.

My wife used to smoke, which I hated. I hated more that she tried to hide it for so long, but that's another story. When she did smoke though, she was a fan of Parliaments, which I referred to as "janitor cigarettes" (I first was exposed to Parliaments by our janitor when I was in design school, hence my name for them). I didn't like that my wife smoked and I'm glad she quit, but I at least was ok with the brand because I really like the graphic look. The chevron is sophisticated, the wordmark is bold and the palette is regal - and it all comes together in a package that's approachable and affordable. I also like that the look is vaguely reminiscent of the old transistor radios from the 60s - lending a retro-futuristic appearance as well as appearing technologically advanced. See the influence?

Not being a smoker, I cant judge cigarettes by anything else than brand statement and graphic treatment. I actually dont have a clue how anyone can differentiate between any of them on anything other than that. I will say though, that if I did smoke, I would likely just pick the ones that looked the best and had a brand image that befits a handsome, stylish lad like me : )

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