We really love contrast. We love old/new, vintage/modern, black/white, fire/ice. It’s only natural; we are printmakers using archaic machines to produce exciting ephemera to please the tastes of today. So, today’s post will explore something we’ve stumbled upon that strikes our contrast fancy. And, really, contrast was just a starting point, so don’t judge our tangent.
Through personal trial we discovered last weekend that those alternative to plastic bags bags are the BEST thing to move with. They can handle fairly heavy weight, they are compact, and you don’t have to break them down like boxes of the past. However, the downside – they’re just sort of ugly and not very designer friendly. Then one of us in the shop reminisced about those net bags they used to have back in the day in health food stores, before the days of Whole Foods. Oh yea! No one could remember what they were called, or that they even had a name, in fact. However, we found them. On the modern encyclopedia – the internet! Behold, the Avoska! Originally the bag was a convenient, “just in case” or the “perhaps” bag used in Soviet Russian times. Food shortages were commonplace and while one was out and about, if they stumbled upon an item they needed, they also needed something in which to carry the impromptu score. Information like this just gets us really excited. And it’s something as simple as a bag that makes us look at the entire cycle of things, design, use, trend, and in this case – social opinion. The Avoska was phased out by the emergence of the plastic bag. It then became a symbol in Russia of disheveled appearance. Since we all cringe when we’re at the checkstand and we’ve forgotten our reusable bag, it’s like you’re an instant hater of the earth and societal outcast. You suddenly feel the urge to validate your plastic bag of Earth’s demise by muttering something to the store clerk like, “I use it for the kitty litter.” Then strike a big, “Oh! Almost forgot the kitty litter.” Then you run to grab the cheapest little box of litter you can find, because, in truth, you don’t even have a cat. But, that’s just how ostracized you feel.
Long story short. We love the look of the Avoska. We love the leather handle detail on some, the ombre coloring on other, and mostly, we love that it’s size is estimated by how many grapefruits it can hold.
And, to bring it all back to letterpress – how cool would the net pattern be letterpressed on some invite? business card?
Here’s a website devoted to them. However, we don’t really know what the entirety of the content on this website consists of, so we’re not saying we endorse or support it – we don’t speak russian.