Wednesday, February 26, 2014


A selection of old paper labels of perfumes and cosmetics found in the Philippines, circa 1930s-50s. Some labels were embossed and made used of gold foil, featuring local names of flowers like "Ylang-Ylang", "Philippine Orchids" and "Azucena".
Products represented here include perfumes, lotions, pomade and talcum powder. Charming examples of early graphic design in Philippine product packaging.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


 Before the advent of photoshop, salon studios created special effects using amazing scenography, fashioned from cardboard and wooden props to situate the subject in a fantasy place. But even more incredible are these manipulated real photo postcards, several elements cut and pasted on a new background, which was then painted and tinted over.
Painted photos are not unknown in the Philippines as the "foto oleo" technique was known as aearly as the the first decade of the 20th century. Ordinarily, the subject's dress is washed lightly with color, and the details of a baro were defined by paint. But these two photo postcards bearing the names of "Anita" and "Concepcion" were much more elaborate as they combined time-consuming cutting, rephotographing. lettering, painting and tinting. True, the advent of modern photography and computer technology have all but rendered this tedious process obsolete, but nothing can duplicate the artistry of these fantasy--conceived by imaginative minds and crafted by deft, hard-working hands!