Smoke Signal

No Smoking Day notwithstanding, the act of smoking has fired major style icons. Amanda Lake investigates

Smoking – love it or loathe it – provides the designer with a wealth of creative opportunities, from poster designs for the tobacco manufacturers and anti-smoking groups to packaging, lighters and ashtrays.

It turns out that our European counterparts are more adventurous with their cigarette packs than us Brits, at least in a pictorial sense. Just look at the recently redesigned Gitanes Blondes packet and the Star packet to witness the fact. Design has come a long way since Loewy’s Lucky Strike Forties redesign. As for all the smoking paraphernalia, there are some interesting collectables around.

Anti-smoking posters have made their mark in the last few years, but don’t expect to see much as the budgets of the anti-smoking lobby cannot stretch to design. Any takers?

Here’s a low-down of old and new designs:

1. This year’s No Smoking Day material was produced by Still Waters Run Deep and represents a knotted cigarette.

2. Metal ashtray designed by Sebastian Conran for the London restaurant Quaglino’s.

3. The table egg lighter designed by Pentagram was produced for Ronson. The brief was to produce a series of lighters using existing mechanisms and to concentrate on external shapes.

4. The Wilkinson Sword Trigger Lighter, also produced by Pentagram, was aimed at male smokers, hence the pistol grip concept became the basis of the design.

5. Latest promotional brochure for the anti-smoking charity Quit. The package is aimed at young people and was designed by Spin.

6. Promotional matches for Swan developed in the late Eighties.

7. The Gitanes Blondes packet: Redesigned by Shin Matsunaga in 1995.

8. Marlboro Superlights (1983-1996) and Marlboro country cowboy packs (1979) by Raymond Loewy International.

9. Star pack by Raymond Loewy International.

10. Lucky Strike packet redesigned by Raymond Loewy in 1941, and Zippo lighter by George Grant (1932).

11. Nicotinell patches packs designed by The Partners.

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