Monday, May 10, 2010

What price obsessiveness?

Check out the photo to your left - as you can see, I LURVE vintage price tags!  I love everything about them - the pleasing color palettes, the now-forgotten "cents" sign; the built-in advertising; the fonts used - just everything.

I realize that it's far more efficient to use bar codes and inventory scanners now, but they're so impersonal.  I myself cannot remember a time when there were price tags used in grocery stores such as the ones pictured on the left - I'm guessing these little guys pre-date me by about 15-20 years (I was born in '68).  In my childhood, it was either those square-ish adhesive price tags (like the ones picutred in my Lo-Fi collage, below) or the inked prices on the bottom of metal spice tins, etc. (like the one below, left).

One great advantage of using price tags as opposed to bar codes is that the customer can immediately identify the price of an item.  With barcodes or prices just attached to the shelving, one either has to write the price down before proceeding to the checkout or find one of those price checkers.  I'm sure people used to switch price tags all of the time, though - that's the downside.

I love using price tags in my artwork - the first one pictured here, entitled "That's the Price you Pay", is currently in an exhibit at the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI.  The name of the exhibit is Word Play, and you can see why I titled it what I did.  :D  The other collages are ATCs that I did for my live trading group.  They just lend a great feel to any piece in which they're used.

Oh, one more advantage - you can pick them up for CHEAP on Etsy and Ebay!

I enjoy the collecting as much as I enjoy using them in my art - so I can say that I'm doing my very small part to preserve the history of these fun little pieces of nostalgia.


  1. Of course the most fun with the old price tags is how unbelievably low the prices seem :D

  2. Isn't that the truth, Carolyn! What can you buy now (new) for 57 cents? :D