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Comic Art and How Different Industries Are Making the Most of It

Comic art is in — and not just in the English-speaking world. The craze for Marvel comics and Manga has introduced comic art to the wider world, allowing fans across the globe to enjoy this art form. Let’s not forget, too, about the influence of a certain artist by the name of Andy Warhol, who did a lot to popularize this style of art, one which hasn’t remained to the confines of comic books. It’s bold, it’s vibrant and businesses in different industries have made great use of it to help promote or sell their products and services.

Which industries exactly?
Comic art hasn’t stayed specific to one industry. These days fast food chains, clothing chains and other business have employed comic art in their marketing. It’s a versatile style when it comes to advertising and works well to make tell a product or service’s story in an engaging manner.

Fast food
Think of fast food and the name ‘McDonald’s’ is likely to spring to mind first. It’s a household name, which makes the packaging of its products perfect for some comic art, the packaging offering the canvas, of course. Don’t be surprised if you order some French Fries and, rather than in a standard red package with the company logo on it, the customer service assistant hands them over to you in a packet featuring a character from The Simpsons on it, a Marvel superhero or an iconic pop art image. It’s a powerful piece of advertising.

Who doesn’t like a cup of Joe on a morning, especially when you have a long day ahead of you and want to get it off to a good start? The brand Goode Coffee Company makes a relaxed but engaging use of pop art on its coffee cups, with an abstract style of patterns and shapes and bold colors. This is because the designer, acknowledging that we don’t see the coffee through the packaging when we order it to go, wanted to highlight the energizing properties of coffee. The brand uses different colors and shapes on the cups, but across the collection, so to speak, nothing seems out of place. The variety works seamlessly.

Online gaming
The online gaming industry is big business and because it’s as much a form of leisure and entertainment as it is an opportunity to win some extra money, both the advertising and the design of the games themselves must be appealing. This is where comic art has served online slots operators well, by making the games appear fun and inviting, and rather than going with a more conservative color scheme, such as white and black, you can see websites that combine white and pink, white and yellow or other vibrant color schemes. The color schemes serve a practical purpose, too, helping users to distinguish between different games or sections on the site.

Aside from comic books, of course, fashion has been one of the main subjects of comic book art. Who can forget the iconic pop art images of Marilyn Monroe, for instance? The clothes chain H&M have not turned to this kind of art for their advertising as such, but it does feature in their clothing. The pieces in their Gallery Girl ad campaign really nod to the genre, with chic and sophisticated hues and prints that work well for an older generation. The shots in the campaign work between grayscale portraits and elegant, colorful, full-body captures. This is a smart collection.

There’s also the United Colors of Benetton, who have long had a reputation for adopting a more edgy style of marketing their products. Back in Fall/Winter 2013, the company’s designs reflected the comeback of grunge-era style clothing. To advertise them, the models posed against comic art style backgrounds, an intriguing blend of the past and the present. Mikael Jansson was the photographer for the campaign.

In the midst of the global economic crisis, the luxury fashion house DKNY turned to pop art for its ‘Be Delicious’ campaign, which promoted the (Be) Delicious range of perfumes. These are bright, lively fragrances and each piece of the marketing campaign captured their spirit perfectly. The ad campaign consisted of six poster pieces, limited edition packaging and a two-page comic strip. The project capitalized on a development in the economy in which the corporate world and the art world started to work together, with artists receiving funds to finance their artwork. The artists’ fanbase would take a natural interest in their work for the company and this approach to advertising was considered ‘unique’.

Alcoholic drinks
Comic art has also sneaked its way into the world of alcoholic drinks. The luxury champagne manufacturer Dom Pérignon paid a moving tribute to the godfather of pop art, Andy Warhol, with a series of limited edition Dom Pérignon 2002 bottles of champagne. The designed acknowledge the late artist’s penchant for bright colors, by placing bright-colored labels — in hues of neon yellow, red and blue — on the bottles and selling them in specially designed boxes. The fact that the company had never changed the labels of its bottles until the tribute made the gesture all the more significant.

Dom Pérignon isn’t the only brand to have seen the appeal in pop art. WARSTEINER beer has long had a passion for working with artists. It all started more than 30 years ago, when the pop art genius Warhol immortalized one of the brand’s very own tulip glasses with his silkscreens. Since then, the company has supported art projects and in 2013, they started the Art Collection initiative, which made their bottles the canvas. Six international artists worked on the bottles.

Thanks to its vibrance, comic art can really help a brand to stand out and market its products and services to amazing effect. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fast-food chain, a fashion house or different type of business. Comic art can really help you to cut through the noise, online and offline. If you have a product or service to promote, you might just think about calling on this style yourself.

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