Emily Smith- Lucky Charms

Lucky charms cereal first made its debut in 1964 by the company “General Mills”. The designer of the iconic cereal was John Holahan, he wanted to create something similar to Cheerios but also add a personal element to it, so, he added marshmallow pieces resembling his favourite candy; circus peanuts. (Morioka,2014)  The mascot for the cereal is “lucky”, a happy go lucky leprechaun who likes to travel the world.  The original advertising for this cereal was one of the most expensive for this company since they used colored commercials and ads. (morioka, 2014).  They also promoted the cereal using collectable silverware sets, passport cards and even a kit to grow vegetables throughout various decades (Morioka, 2014).

The design of the cereal has evolved over time but still has kept the basics of its original design. The box has always been a bright red and includes a bowl of cereal its in design. The boxes through time have been more magical by making the cereal flow on the milk in a rainbow like fashion instead of just in a bowl. Their mascot, “lucky”, has also had some redesigns. IN the most recent one, he has been rendered in a more modern and detailed way. I feel as though each redesign of the character it has been done so in a way to fit the trends and styles of the particular era it came out.

The cereal is marketed towards kids and suppose to give off a magical and exciting feeling, hence their catch phrase “their magically delicious”. The design makes people feel “childlike” and like they can do and go anywhere.

Works Cited:

Morioka, Lynne, et al. “The Ultimate Guide to Lucky Charms.” A Taste of General Mills, 18 Mar. 2019, blog.generalmills.com/2014/03/lucky-charms/.

John Holahan, 1964
John Holahan, 1964
unknown, 2010
unknown, 2010


In the Wild




Tommy Guerrero album cover “A Little Bit of Somethin’”

Album Artwork by Margaret Kilgallen

I stumbled across the musician Tommy Guerrero on one of my endless YouTube spirals, in which I scour the depths of the “instrumental chill-hop” playlists and suggested videos in the sidebar for an eternity, searching for the perfect soundtrack to draw to. I knew I had finally found the right jams to match my vibe, when this album cover popped up on my screen. I was immediately drawn to the warm colour palette, the bold line drawings of the characters and the “Old Western” style typography used in the album name “A Little Bit of Somethin’”.  This album artwork was done by Margaret Kilgallen, a painter and printmaker from Colorado. Kilgallen had a BFA in studio art and printmaking from Colorado College, and went on to have a few solo exhibitions in New York and California during 1997 through 1999. Unfortunately, Kilgallen did not have a lengthy art-career or a large body of work, as she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001- and opted to forego chemotherapy so she might carry her unborn-child to term. She died three weeks after giving birth. Fortunately, her work is still being displayed in various galleries across the US, and has had retrospectives written on her.


Kilgallen’s album cover for Tommy Guerrero has many influences. The hand-painted Old Western font gives a “folksy” feeling to the cover.  Kilgallen was also inspired by Mexican artists, and employed the use of warm colours and imperfect perspectives that showed the craft and handmade quality in her work. The choice of these design elements lend themselves to the genre of music she is trying to emulate in the album cover. The warm tones match the warm guitar chords, the sharp line-drawings and mix of styles are reminiscent of the music on the album, it IS a little bit of something, and a mix of many things. The type at the top is just as stylistic as the illustrations, and the album cover reads like a sequential narrative. The stylistic choice to leave Tommy Guerrero’s name in a sans-serif, hand-lettered font at the bottom of the composition expresses that Guerrero is not the main focus, as the focus is on his instruments and music, not his voice. Overall this graphic design made me interested in the album, from just observing the cover I could tell I was about to listen to something with warm, beachy vibes and I promptly added it to my ever-growing study playlist. Thanks for visiting my blog.






Graffiti Stickers – Nicki Startek



Nicki Startek

Downtown, the core of a city, they’re everywhere you go. Every lamppost,  mailbox, and dumpster. Graffiti stickers, also commonly referred to as slaps, are interesting unintentional pieces of graphic design stuck on just about anything.


There is great efficiency in having premade art that is readily adherable to almost any surface. Stickers became a turning point for the infamous vandals DJ NO and TESS, who were associated with the vandal group X-MEN. These vandals ran a rampant campaign through New York City in the early 1980s and are often credited with popularizing the use of stickers for tagging (“Stickers NYC”)Graffiti, being a mostly illegal practice, meant artists that only used slaps are not identified on public platforms. One outlier to this problem is well-known artist Shephard Fairey who became a face for the slaps scene with his Andre the Giant has a Posse campaign. To this day the movement’s iconic sticker that depicted a graphical rendition of celebrity Andre the Giant’s face accompanied by bold, red highlighted type reading “OBEY”(see fig.1) is a massive part of what sticker culture is today. The directness of the sticker offers the viewer to consider the details and meanings of their surroundings, making quite the powerful statement (Bertschmann). You can find this sticker in cities across the world, thirty years after the campaign hit the streets of Providence, Rhode Island.

Figure 1: Shepard Fairey 1989
Figure 1: Shepard Fairey 1989


Today there’s an oversaturation of random slaps, mostly anonymous, self-promos of social media or knock-off slaps of vintage favourites. Essentially anyone can make one and stick it wherever so long as they don’t get caught of course. They are a form of advertisement, considering it isn’t unlikely to find an actual business using stickers to grab second of your attention as you wait for the crosswalk signal. Common characteristics of slaps include typefaces that are bold or hand-drawn graffiti fonts like wildstyle (see fig.2)Type is then often accompanied by an illustration that might be hand-drawn or reproduced. Some stickers are printed in a large quantity while others are hand made using packaging labels or scrap sticker paper. Since there are no rules or structures of design it makes these stickers quite unique and collectable. People will go out of there way to collect from specific artists and brands and then trade with others. This collective craze is the reason an artist’s sticker might end up in a city thousands of miles away from their own. The next lamppost you pass just might have some value stuck to it.

Wildstyle. Anonymous artist.
Wildstyle. Anonymous artist.

Works Cited

Bertschmann, Maddie. “Obey: The Art of Phenomenology.” Stakeholders: Uncensored. November 26, 2014, https://stakeholderdoce.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/obey-the-art-of-phenomenology/. Accessed February 11, 2020.

“Stickers NYC.” Beyond the Streets. March 13, 2019, https://beyondthestreets.com/blogs/artist-spotlight/stickers-nyc. Accessed February 9, 2020.


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