First chewed and later puffed in 1871, Lucky Strike is a brand of cigarettes originally produced by the R.A. Patterson Tobacco Company and now owned by British American Tobacco. At one point in 1930, Lucky Strike was the leading cigarette brand, selling 40 billion of the little suckers. A success in part attributed to Lucky Strike’s aggressive targeting towards women in the 1920s and later when Raymond Loewy turned the package from green to white to make it more female friendly. Today, well, you can barely find Lucky Strike anywhere except online, in specialty smoking stores, and, apparently, in Germany, where a redesigned logo and packaging designed by G2 has appeared online. There is not much information available, in part because the German website is only accessible to computers in Germany and it’s not clear whether this change will apply to Lucky Strike in all countries or just Germany; all images are taken from Design Tagebuch.
Well, this blows, doesn’t it? I like to think that I can overcome gratuitous design nostalgia in favor of design progress, but there is something extremely appealing about the 1940s Lucky Strike logo and packaging. A certain impact that few packages achieve today. But obviously I think that’s just the ideal that lives in my head. If you look at the Before image in the packs above, there is very little trace of the stark simplicity that defined that classic packaging: gradients, bevels, seals, and, of course, the warning labels are all over that little box like a carcinogen on a lung. So it makes the transition to the new look a little less painful. The new logo is a terrible modernization of Lucky Strike’s original logo as it appeared on its tin packaging. If Lucky Strike was going for a revival look I don’t know why they didn’t just stick with it, as it was, instead of putting stubby slabs on the lettering that completely cheapen the logo. I mean, look at the letterforms on that vintage package. That shit is hot. The new packaging, I guess it could be worse. The addition of “Luckies” on the bottom and the badges/seals on the side are both nice touches but, overall, the whole thing just feels cheap.