Eastern European Phillumeny Showcases Matchbook Box Cover Art of Soviet Era

Phillumeny, the art of collecting different match-related items, such as matchboxes, matchbox labels, matchbooks, match covers, match safes, etc, is popular around the globe. With each region having its own characteristic designs and history to immerse oneself in. 

The Eastern European Phillumeny Art Catalog celebrates the matchbox label designs of Eastern Europe from the Soviet Union era and was designed and produced by David Gobber, Andreas Solhøj Hansen and Fabio Mario Rizzotti – three Basel based graphic designer,  in a publication design course led by Marion Fink. 

Eastern European Phillumeny Book Showcases Matchbook Box Cover Art of Soviet Era

The art catalog consists of two books, a smaller one being placed in a hole burned out of the book block of the bigger one. Therefore it can be seen as a reference to or even a caricature of the idea of the white cube, being — apart from general information about the art pieces and an imprint — empty inside.

The matchbox labels shown in the art catalog are the product of three Czechoslovakian factories — Smrečina B. Bystrica, Solo Lipník, and Solo Sušice — and were found in an online gallery featuring over 2800 of such ill­ustrations. While the purpose of these rather mundane graphics was mostly public information in the Soviet Union, the act of creating a selection and showing it in an art catalog implicitly claims that their status is more than just everyday graphics. But rather should be seen as valuable art.

The Eastern European Phillumeny consists of two books, a smaller one being placed in a hole burned out of the book block of the bigger one. While the smaller book contains the matchbook cover design illustrations, as well as additional information about each design, the big book functions only as a container. Therefore it can be seen as a reference to or even a caricature of the idea of the white cube, being — apart from general information about the art pieces and an imprint — empty inside. 

Eastern European Phillumeny Book Showcases Matchbook Box Cover Art of Soviet Era
Eastern European Phillumeny Book Showcases Matchbook Box Cover Art of Soviet Era
Eastern European Phillumeny Book Showcases Matchbook Box Cover Art of Soviet Era

Images © David Gobber

Instagram Feed Instagram Feed Instagram Feed Instagram Feed Instagram Feed Instagram Feed Instagram Feed Instagram Feed