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Chewy Lemonhead & Friends 25¢

March 5, 2009

Sample #3

This “Chewy Lemonhead & Friends” box was found at 6:55 pm, Sunday March 1st 2009 on the sidewalk along the west-bound side of North Ave. between the North Ave. light rail stop and Howard St. I discovered it shortly after I picked up the “BlackJack” Maryland Lottery scratcher.

Over the course of the past year and a half I have come across several of these Ferrara Pan brand candy boxes in the radius anywhere from North Ave. to about 26th St. roughly between Howard St. and St. Paul. I think I’ve found every type of fruithead candy box (of which the variety is clearly denoted on this example) except for an Applehead box.

I remember a plain Lemonhead box was the first sample I found, and as I began to find other fruithead boxes I became more excited with each addition to my collection. This is probably because as a kid I remember only being aware of Lemonhead, and just recently in my early twenties did I find out about his other friends!

The feeling surrounding this newly discovered information is in some ways comparable to my 3rd grade experience of finding out that there were actually three original Star Wars movies and not only two, as I had been previously led to believe by my parents during the first 8 years of my life. (Apparently at the time they had only been able to tape the the last 2 movies of the trilogy off the television for me).

In either case, I recall the epic conversation in the bathroom before lunch recess with Chris Jason who very adamantly (for an 8-year old) insisted that there was a movie that took place before “The Empire Strikes Back.” I very stubbornly told him he was wrong, as it seemed to me that there was just no way that another movie could possibly exist. I only knew of two and that was all there was… perhaps he was just getting this “other Star Wars movie” confused with one of the Ewok movies? “No no no!” he told me. And as we left the bathroom I’m pretty sure neither of us were convinced the other knew just what they were talking about.

So… I digress. Except to say that I only used to get Lemonheads on Halloween from trick or treating at the houses that found it unnecessary to buy the kiddies chocolate but more appropriate to purchase hard candy that could shatter their teeth. I definitely found Lemonheads to be among the more disappointing of the Halloween candy I collected and distinctly remember sneaking them into UNM Lobo Basketball games in my jacket pockets near the end of the basketball season when all my chocolate candy had long since been devoured. What was tip-off or half time in February without Lemonheads or Jujyfruits? I guess only I would know the answer to that question…

Now on to the design critique! Ok, let’s see here… lots of bright colors – very good for a candy box. The Lemonhead type certainly has something nice going on, but a slight update from the pseudo-serif Copperplate-like action going on here wouldn’t hurt. I absolutely love the fruithead characters, as these guys are the perfect salesmen for this product. In fact, I couldn’t think of more spot on mascots in terms of illustration style, plus who can argue with their cute little bow ties?

Another nice aspect is the gushing rainbow, which I can only assume signifies the bursting fruit juiciness of the product? However, I wish the execution was considered more as I feel the gushing could be a lot more effective if it didn’t flow off the edges of the box. And that leads me to my definitive complaint… I feel like each design aspect of this box was created independently of the other parts, and everything was just thrown into whatever space was previously empty. Absolutely nothing here was considered in terms of how the various forms of type and illustration fit together.

Thanks to the hap-hazard nightmare that has been created, there should be no question in anyone’s mind that once upon a time the design of this box was much simpler and has since been sadly degraded with each “new feature” tagged onto the product. Sadly it has fallen victim to a form of abominating that often occurs when multiple products from the same brand are combined into one package…

Is it really necessary for “Chewy” to be wavy and therefore so klunky, causing it to visually clash with “Lemonhead?” Why exactly is “Made with Real Fruit Juice” in a bubble floating off to who knows where? And the placement of “Assorted Pack” is definitely senseless, not mention that all the little heads are bumbling around in space without a say for themselves. In short, it’s a good thing the heads are cute and that this product exists in some sort of time warp where you can still buy a box of candy for 25¢!!!

alternate view of this sample

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