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ICA Paper Bag

Nifty notches into otherwise modern type evokes a bit of old-timey goodness.

Contributed by Stephen Coles on Jun 24th, 2011. Artwork published in .

Photo by Claes Källarsson.

With our appetite for European supermarkets still lingering, here’s a lighter morsel for your Friday. As a temporary Stockholm resident I was often impressed with the food packaging and presentation in Swedish grocery stores. This piece, picked up by our friend Claes Källarsson in Sundsvall, perfectly illustrates the kind of clean and pleasant typography and illustration that is typical of Nordic package design. It’s a paper bag from ICA, used for mushrooms and any other fresh produce you don’t want to put in a plastic bag.

The folksy type (Swedish for “newly harvested”) looks old fashioned, but it’s actually ITC Lubalin Graph. The designers cleverly nicked the serifs, mimicking the bifurcated Tuscan style that was common in 19th century display typography and often found in wooden fonts and traditional baseball logos (Red Sox, Mets).

For more Tuscan type in this pared down mode with minimal ornamentation, take a gander at Dekoria, ITC Buckaroo, URW Wood Type, PL Davison Americana, and Davison Baroque.





Artwork location

3 Comments on “ICA Paper Bag”

  1. FYI, the designer of the typeface — if I am not completely off — is Nille Svensson (previously of Sweden Graphics).

  2. Thanks for that, Peter! I contacted at least three different entities at ICA and got nowhere.

  3. Years ago, Frank Grießhammer found these samples of Svensson’s custom typeface (titled Husman Headline) in a book with work from Sweden Graphics, and I neglected to post them:

    Husman Headline

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